Frank Turner: Record Breaking Most Gigs In 24 Hours

Frank Turner: Record Breaking Most Gigs In 24 Hours

Words and pictures by Callum Linklater.

Portsmouth 9am, Sunday 5th May – Show 13 of 15  a self admittingly tired Frank Turner takes to the stage donning a shirt reading ‘Whose stupid idea was this anyway?’.

“My name is Frank Turner, Welcome to my mid-life crisis. I am losing my mind,” he says while opening to a warm reception from the audience of all ages that turned out to support Frank on his mission.

At the weekend Hampshire musician Frank Turner  undertook the first ever Music Venue Trust world record attempt for the most gigs played in 24 hours.

Commencing lunchtime Saturday [4th May]  in Liverpool, by the time he reached Portsmouth back on his home turf, he had already secured the record off of the previous (official) record holder Hunter Hayes [10] just a few hours before. After having travelled a long way across the country these last few shows were to very much cement his name in the record books.

The round about half an hour set opens with ‘No Thank You For The Music’ from his 10th Album ‘Undefeated’ which released just a few days before [3rd May]  – the first of the morning’s singalongs. Despite being limited on time he still takes a moment to tell stories and explain the meanings of a couple of new songs.

There was also a shout out to Southampton’s much loved independent music venue The Joiners, where he went to watch some of his first shows growing up. Frank went on to express the importance of independent/grassroots music venues and reminded the audience that their ticket goes to support those venues too ( via the Independent Venue Trust). This challenge was not just to promote his new album, ‘Undefeated’ with every show taking place in a grassroots music venue supporting 13 different  independent record shops. This stop in Portsmouth’s Staggeringly Good Brewery was an outstore with Pie and Vinyl record shop.

It was clear that everyone who woke up early this sunny Sunday morning were enjoying themselves. I even noticed some members of staff singing and dancing along too!

A highlight of this 8 song set for me was ‘Wessex Boy’ – featured on his 4th Album England Keep My Bones (2011) . With all the audience singing and dancing along as the sun beamed in through the skylight windows, it definitely added to the atmosphere of the room, a moment that stuck with me the rest of the day. 

Still standing, Frank Turner finishes his set with ‘Do One’ leaving both him and the crowd with a burst of energy to carry them through the rest of the day. With a thunderous round of applause Frank makes a prompt exit, but not before once again thanking those who came out alongside the people who made his 2,873rd show happen. The finishing line was very much in sight now for him as he heads to The Railway in Winchester before finishing up in Southampton at The Brook to complete what has been a 500 mile mission. 

  • Once Frank has recovered, hopefully undefeated by the world record attempt, he will return to the road in more conventional style, bringing him back to Southampton in July, to play at The 1865. He will play a run of European dates in May, including shows as special guests on NOFX’s final tour, before heading across North America in late May and throughout June. He will play a series of UK festivals in the summer (Docksfest, 2000trees, Latitude and Y NOT?) before taking the seventh instalment of his Lost Evenings extravaganza to Canada for the first time in September. All ahead of his 3000th show at the Alexandra Palace in February 2025 which is set to be a yet another massive landmark occasion in his musical career.
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