Single Review: Reasons Not To Be An Idiot – Frank Turner
Xtra Mile Recordings
Released 12th January 2009
By Guy Sangster Adams
From the release of the album Love, Ire, & Song in March, Frank Turner appears to have been perpetually playing live through 2008, including an astonishing tally of 23 festivals last summer. Testament to the cross genre nature of his music, the mixture of dates included Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, and the Cambridge Folk Festival. At which Reasons not to be an Idiot, the track from Love, Ire & Song which is to be released as a single in January to herald an already phenomenally packed live schedule for Turner in February and March playing support to The Gaslight Anthem, became a firm crowd favourite.
Unsurprisingly because this anti-naval gazing, anti-solitary bedroom angst, anthem to positive thinking exhorts the listener to “get up, get down, get outside” in the sunshine. But do not think the effervescent irritation of the Boo Radleys’ Wake Up Boo, Turner’s engaging lyrical wit and elan – “I’m not as awesome as this song makes out, I’m angry underweight and sketching out” – and stripped down style of shouty vocals backed by strident electric guitar and intermittent drum beats on the verses with organ and harmonica added for the more melodious chorus, resolutely kicks over the statues in a way that is part Billy Bragg and Waiting for the Great Leap Forward, part Kevin Rowland/Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Come on Eileen, but holistically and unmistakeably Turner in contagious overdrive. Reasons not to be an Idiot is an anthem for the common man and the collective good which levels any objection, in the face of which there really is no reason not to get up, get down, and get outside.