Not everyone will realise how much Frank Turner has supported Colchester artists in recent years by engaging with, promoting, and producing local talent. 

His connection with PET NEEDS began in 2019 when he attended their performance at the Camden Festival. Impressed by their show, he stayed for the entire performance and purchased one of their Punk’s Not Dead T-shirts. Later that evening, while headlining the festival, Frank Turner expressed his admiration for PET NEEDS on stage, wearing the band’s T-shirt. This initial encounter led to a lasting collaboration. Frank took them on tour globally and produced their album ’Prime Time Entertainment’ in his studio.

In 2021, Frank Turner extended his support to other local bands, namely Colchester’s The Meffs and Mersea Island’s Wilswood Buoys, by featuring them in his Lost Evenings IV shows. The performances served a dual purpose, showcasing incredible talent and contributing to fundraising efforts for The Nick Alexander Music Trust.

Frank Turner has been actively involved with The Meffs, producing singles and their album ’Broken Britain Pt. I&II.’ Similarly, his collaboration with Wilswood Buoys has been extensive, including the production of singles, EPs, and their debut album, ‘A New Beginning.’ Frank has also taken Wilswood Buoys on tour, further exposing them to a broader audience.

Frank’s commitment to the Colchester music scene was also evident in 2021 when he performed at Coda for two consecutive nights. Additionally, in February 2023, he played Three Wise Monkeys Colchester for TWM Live, solidifying his ongoing support for local artists and venues in the community. 

So here we are, in turn, promoting Frank Turner to the people of Colchester, as he is set to release his tenth album, ‘Undefeated’ on 3rd May 2024.

‘Undefeated’ follows his first UK number 1 album, 2022’s ‘FTHC’, resulting from his decision to step away from the major label world to re-embrace the liberation of working as an independent artist. 

Frank says, “My first back home with a global independent label setup (still with Xtra Mile, of course).”

Finding the sweet spot between youthful outspokenness and surviving midlife’s challenges, ‘Undefeated’ is a record that explores both emotionally compelling topics and lighter reflections on those troubles that eventually come to most of us. Who you are versus who you wanted to be in your youth, life-altering love, fading friendships, wistful nostalgia, the mental fallout and political consequences that still linger from the pandemic era, and the more prosaic issue of persistent backache.

Frank says of the album, “There are no clichés about the difficult 10th album, so in some ways, that’s a liberating statement. But at the same time, I have a duty to justify writing and releasing a 10th album. That’s a lot of records for anybody. Also, I’m 42, which is not a sexy, rock’n’roll age. But all through my career, I’ve been interested in writers like Loudon Wainwright III or The Hold Steady, people who write about adulthood, essentially.”

While thematically ‘Undefeated’ is informed by this time in life, sonically, it echoes influences Frank has touched upon at various moments in his kaleidoscopic career. It switches from Black Flag to Counting Crows, from Descendents to The Pogues, via Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg. Its freewheeling nature reflects his newfound independence and the creative environment he found himself in. As usual, it was entirely written by himself, but this is the first album that he produced himself, recorded in the home studio that he and his wife, Jessica Guise, share on Mersea Island.

‘Undefeated‘ features his live band: Ben Lloyd (guitar), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Callum Green (drums) and Matt Nasir (piano).

The release of ‘Undefeated ‘will, of course, see this punk-rock road-warrior tour with the tenacity and intense schedules that he’s renowned for (such as the sprawling 50 States in 50 Days North American tour – when PET NEEDS supported) but with even bigger ambitions that will be revealed in due course as he nears his 3000th gig. 

But for now, anticipate the new album: a typically energising, literate, playful, and provocative set from a musician who remains ‘Undefeated’ after a quarter-of-a-century in the game.

And right now, Frank Turner is one of our own. Living locally and supporting local venues and artists. Long may that continue.

Frank Turner ’Undefeated’ – pre-order here