In the last of his three part tour diary, Frank Turner drinks some more, gets to grip with French "surrender-monkey" hippies and finally returns to England.
|Part Three: Heading South and Home|
|On our first day off we went back to Chamoule's place in the leafy suburbs to relax. I worked on some new songs, including a number in French called 'Putain de Bordel de Merde'. This is a super-strength French exclamation that literally translates as 'whore of a brothel of shit'. The lyrics don't make much sense, being as they are little more than a collection of the French insults I know in rhyme, but the crowds appreciated my efforts. Much refreshed, we drove south the next day (Monday) to a place near Lyon – the house of a guy called Lolo, who manages The Pookies and ISP. We had supper there with Forrest from The Pookies, who'd recently shaved himself a moustache. Thus began Chamoule's attempts to get me to shave myself one, which lasted for the rest of the tour. Thankfully Forrest defended me by arguing that unless you had 'a moustache in your heart' it was dishonest to get one on your face. OK...|
|The next show was in Annecy, which is an amazing city on the edge of a lake at the foot of the Alps. The scenery is breathtaking. The show was in a bar called, confusingly, Le Munich, and was organized by a guy called Bruno who was something of an MD fanatic. The show was cool (I found another English person in the audience!), and it was fantastic to wake up the next morning in bright sunlight and to see an Alp out of my window. Sweet. We set off for Limoges, probably the longest drive of the tour, but we found our way (aided by Queen at full blast and some awesome pink sunglasses) to L'Ile Aux Tresors (Treasure Island) for another show with ISP. ISP are an old-school HC band fronted by a guy called Rico, who's a bit like Nick Olivieri, except French, and more bonkers. He spent most of their set in the crowd, rubbing himself against innocent punters, spitting at the ceiling, pushing the mic around the floor with his nose and so on. Class.|
|The next day we were on the road again towards Le Fiacre, in Bordeaux. There'd been some trouble with the promoter for this show, but it all came good in the end. It's a club where a big French band called Noir Desir started out in the early 1990's. These days the singer is in prison after murdering his actress girlfriend in a hotel in Lithuania during a coke binge. Rock 'n' roll. The show was cool, if a little sparse due to the organizational problems, and we crashed out pretty soon afterwards. We were now into the final phase of the tour, and headed south towards Toulouse for Blagnac Open Air Festival.|
|It was a gorgeous day when we got there and it was great to relax in the afternoon sunshine with a beer and a guitar. The stage was in a public park, overlooking a lake, which was nice. There weren't so many people there by time I went on, but shit happens. We spent the evening hanging out with a guy called Bruno, who put us up. Our journey back to his, at about 3am, was kind of insane; everyone was pissed, and at every traffic light Bruno decided that the best way not to draw attention from the cops would be to lap the car with his pants down. We got in at 4am, which was when Chamoule decided to tell me we had to be up at 7am. Bastard.|
|We blatantly didn't need to be up that early, either, but we set out for the last show of the tour, which was in Pannisierres. This was another open-air festival, near Lyon. It was also a total hippyfest. I'm not too good on hippies generally speaking, and French hippies take the piss. Honestly, you shaved your entire head but left one three-foot long dreadlock hanging off the back left-hand side? Wanker. I suppressed my urge to wash and shave them all. The place was populated with dirty, screaming, ignored kids and thousands of fucking or fighting dogs. All the same it was a cool show, despite getting bitten to pieces by mosquitoes. By the end of it we were exhausted and set off towards Forrest's place to crash out. In the end they were having a party when we got there so we decided to finish the tour as it'd been going on, by getting drunk.|
|The next day we were up early, missioned it back to Paris Charles de Gaulle, to put me on a flight back to the UK (so I could get into London in time to play another show...). Given the drawbacks of my situation – not singing in French, not having any established fan-base in France, my insistence on calling them "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys" and so on – the tour was a great success. It remains only for me to say that I'll be back, and to say a few thank-yous: all the bands I played with, all the people who put me up, all the promoters, all my new French friends, in particular Forrest, Lolo, Rico and ISP, Quentin, Bruno, Amandine, Anais, Kiki, Aurelie, Priscille, and last but never least, La Grande Pute, Chamoule. A bientot, merci.|
Room Thirteen would like to take this opportunity to thank Frank Turner for keeping this tour diary. If you've missed any of the previous parts just click on one of these links.
Part 1: Arrival, Paris [click here]
Part 2: Lille, Belgium & Return to Paris [click here]
Part 3: Heading South and Home [click here]