We chatted to Frank Turner, who’ll be headlining the Folk Session on Sunday 1 July. Read on to find out, among other things, what he loves about folk festivals, and what his favourite plant is!
What is it about playing at Eden you’re looking forward to?
I’ve been wanting to go to the Eden Project for years. One of the clichés of what I do is that travel around the world without seeing much of it, and it’s true. It’s great: not only do I get to play a show in Cornwall, but I actually get to go to the Eden Project to check that out as well. I’m really looking forward to it.
One of the other things I’m really looking forward to about the show is the line-up, it’s just fantastic. I’m slightly pinching myself about the fact that I’ll be playing last because playing with the likes of Bellowhead, Stornoway, Seth Lakeman and people like that is a real privilege.
You’ve played all over the world – what will make playing at Eden unique?
I think the setting. From what I’ve heard and seen in photographs, it’s something different from another sweaty club held together with duct tape!
Describe the vibe at a summer folk festival…
What I like about this kind of event, and hopefully about all the shows I play, is that there’s a really inclusive atmosphere and there’s a wide demographic. I love it when I get entire families coming to my shows. It’s funny because sometimes people get a bit apologetic about it, but for me it’s just awesome. I think it’s great to bring a large group of people together and unite them behind something as frivolous as music.
Are you into the traditional folk music of the UK?
I am but I really didn’t grow up with it. I’ve come to it later in life and had to dig quite deep to find out more about. My musical background is hardcore and punk, but it’s a fantastic and rewarding journey to find out about folk. It’s this wonderful collection of crazy, happy, angry, sad, bawdy, lewd stories that date back centuries.
What draws people to folk music and why has there been a recent revival?
I think it calls on something deeper within you. To hear something that old, when put up against modern, disposable pop music, it has a kind of gravitas and an appeal to it you won’t find elsewhere. There’s a great power to the idea of tradition, something cultural that extends beyond the lines of any one individual human being and it is a uniting force not just between communities right now but between communities that have come before you.
How would you sum up the political standpoints you’ve carried through from punk background into your folk music?
It’s more of a personal thing than a political thing. There are lot of different political things in punk rock, and that’s fine and dandy, but it’s more the idea of self-reliance and being active in the sense of DIY I like. It’s not waiting for the world to hand you the things you want but going out there doing it yourself. I try to be honest and down to earth, and not have any special attitude about myself because I play guitar for a living, which always strikes me as ridiculous. I try to be on level with the people at my shows.
We love plants at Eden, so we’re interested if you have a garden?
Unfortunately I don’t have a place of my own, so I don’t have a garden. My mum has a lovely garden down in Hampshire, which is full of lots of exciting plants. But were she to read this and I made an attempt to guess what they were, she’d probably get all annoyed with me! I’m not an expert horticulturist, but I grew up in the countryside around plants, so I’m definitely a fan of the great outdoors.
Do you have a favourite plant?
This is going to sound ridiculous, but it is true. When I was a kid I got venus flytraps, and I really loved them. I gave them names, and I had one called Stan.
A bit earlier than usual, we’ve made the first announcement for next summer’s Eden Sessions one-day festivals. If you’ve got membership to our Inside Track club, you can buy your Plan B tickets now.
Being an Inside Track member not only gives you early access to Sessions tickets, but if you join before the end of 2011 you’ll be in with a chance of winning a pair of VIP tickets to all the 2012 Sessions.
Tickets for the show will go on general release at 6pm on Monday 12 December 2011. Initially, these will be phone sales only (the number to call will be 01726 811972) followed by online sales.
Here’s a little taste of Plan B’s explosive live show, filmed at the last V Festival.
It’s now only two weeks until the first Eden Session of 2011. This year we’re celebrating 10 years of our Sessions concerts, and what a year it’s going to be!
An Eden spokesperson sums up what’s in store: “There will be some magic moments on the way in 2011 – Pendulum warming up for their Beyonce support at Glastonbury, the Flaming Lips Zorb and confetti party, Screamadelica Live!, Fleet Foxes’ sun-drenched harmonies and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers’s UK exclusive headline show. Here’s to the next 10 years Eden!”
As Sessions fever builds we thought we’d give you a little reminder of the full line-up for this year. You can buy tickets for the Sessions online.
Thursday 23 June
Stage Right Stage
Saturday 25 June
Stage Right Stage
Thursday 30 June
Stage Right Stage
Friday 1 July
Stage Right Stage
Tuesday 12 July
Stage Right Stage
Win a season ticket to Eden Sessions 2012
We are offering you the chance to win an exclusive season ticket for Eden Sessions 2012 with our text competition. The ticket will entitle you and a friend to free entry to each performance at next year’s exciting line-up. All money raised from the prize draw will go to support Eden’s Rainforest Experience.
Acclaimed singer-songwriters Badly Drawn Boy and Seth Lakeman have been announced for the Biotik Stage at the Eden Sessions.
Badly Drawn Boy, otherwise known as Damon Gough, will be playing the stage in the picturesque Mediterranean Biome on 30 June, before the evening headliner The Flaming Lips take to the main stage. This will be the third time Badly Drawn Boy has played the Eden Sessions, headlining in 2003 and returning in 2005 with Ian Brown.
His debut album The Hour of the Bewilderbeast won the Mercury Music Prize in 2000 and he released his seventh and most recent record It’s What I’m Thinking Pt.1 – Photographing Snowflakes to critical acclaim in October 2010. Badly Drawn Boy is appearing on the Biotik Stage with other acts associated with the charity Manchester Aid to Kosovo, who support recovery in Kosovo by providing opportunities, resources, and developing partnerships. Other artists playing on the day include Liam Frost and The Travelling Band.
Dartmoor folk phenomenon Seth Lakeman will play Biotik on 23 June, before Primal Scream headline the evening on the main stage with their Screamadelica Live show.
Seth has released five solo albums, including 2004’s Mercury-nominated Kitty Jay and last summer’s Hearts and Minds. He has previously collaborated with his brothers Sam and Sean, folk singer (and wife of Sam) Cara Dillon and Steve Knightley from Show of Hands. Seth’s appearance on the Biotik stage is part of a programme of events for the day curated by insect-themed arts festival Pestival.
Biotik is the result of a long-term collaboration between the Eden Project and Cape Farewell, a creative project that brings artists, scientists and communicators together to engage people in the subject of climate change. Find out more on the Eden Project website.
Each Eden Sessions date will feel like a one-day festival, featuring acts on both Biotik and the outdoor Stage Right Stage from midday, all included in the price of a Sessions ticket.
Aged 16–25 and got what it takes to be a prize winning film maker or writer? Use your talent to make a difference and raise awareness of climate change in our unique competition. Eden has joined with Cape Farewell, the creative project that brings together artists, scientists and communicators, to come up with a great opportunity for you to share the messages around the urgent issue of climate change.
There are two elements of this competition:
Find out more and how to enter on the Eden Project website.
Don’t forget you can also enter our competition to win a VIP Sessions experience.
If you’ve never been to a Session before, or even if you just want to relive the glory of your previous visits, check out this video.
Isle of Wight indie rockers The Bees have been added to the Fleet Foxes and Villagers bill for the Eden Session on July 1. They’ll be bringing their blend of psychedelic and country influences to what is looking like a great collection of acts.
The likes of Badly Drawn Boy and Doves (both former Sessions artists) have joined forces for a special album, and two gigs, in aid of a Kosovan regeneration project that Eden has been working on.
The ‘ten’ album is being launched by Manchester Aid to Kosovo (MAK), the leading force behind a unique urban peace park created in Podujevo, a town that suffered horrendous ethnic cleansing during the civil war.
A team of Eden horticulturalists, landscapers and artists worked closely with MAK and Podujevo’s residents to develop the space, drawing on the experience of landscape regeneration we gained when building the Eden Project itself.
Today, the park continues to grow as an artistic and musical hub for the region.
Get hold of the album via the MAK website. Or buy tickets for the gigs, where the best of Manchester musicians will perform, including Badly Drawn Boy, Liam Frost and The Travelling Band, using the following links: 4 April in Manchester; 7 April in London.
The Anglo-Australian six-piece, who have established themselves as one of the most exciting live acts around, will bring their unique electronic sound to Eden on Saturday 25 June.