Frank Turner’s Tales From No Man’s Land: Mixing Music and History

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Frank Turner is known for the music he’s created and released over the past couple of decades. Each album of his tells a different, unique story based on the headspace Turner was in at the time of writing, but his 2019 album No Man’s Land has the most variety of stories which span well beyond Turner himself. His podcast dedicated to this album (titled Tales From No Man’s Land) is fascinating whether you’re a fan of his or not – you’ll learn about history and be able to share stories that are otherwise unheard of to others.

Putting a story to a song is always an interesting experience. Every listener will have a different perception of these songs before finding out about the story behind them, so having a podcast specifically dedicated to this action is very intriguing. The lay out of this podcast is also quite unique, with Turner releasing an episode alongside the release of a new single. However, despite No Man’s Land being released last year, this podcast remains relevant as it teaches stories of excellent women that are otherwise unknown.

Turner opens the podcast with an explanation of its purpose: “Welcome to Tales From No Man’s Land, my first podcast that accompanies my next album that happens to be called No Man’s Land! 13 songs about historical women who you likely won’t have heard of but definitely should have … Their stories are fascinating, moving, funny, and, most importantly, worth celebrating and sharing”.

And, well, that’s exactly what it is.

Featuring stories about Sister Rosetta Tharp (from single ‘Sister Rosetta’), the Winchester Geese (from single ‘The Graveyeard of the Outcast Dead’), Dora Hand (from single ‘The Death of Dora Hand’), and even Frank Turner’s mum (from single ‘Rosemary Jane’), each episode gives an insightful and factual account of these forgotten but iconic histories. Turner also hosted guests to speak with on some episodes. Singer-songwriter Emily Barker features on one, whilst film historian Pamela Hutchinson appears on another. Turner successfully uses his platform to highlight stories of women whilst speaking to suitably knowledge women on various episodes.

This is the perfect podcasts for any history nerds out there. As Turner claims on the first episode, he is a “huge history nerd” and likes to keep “a little mental file of stories that I’d come across that I didn’t know, that I think are interesting and perhaps worth sharing at parties to try and make myself sound more interesting”. So, if you’re looking to learn something about forgotten histories featuring heroic female figures, this podcast is for you.

Tales From No Man’s Land is available to listen to here.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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