The woman who invented rock’n’roll. A serial killer from the Deep South who plucked her victims from lonely hearts pages. The jazz-obsessed heiress who fought for the Free French. A rowdy coach house landlady from 17th century Camden Town accused of witchcraft. The Wild West vaudeville star shot by a small town outlaw. These are just a few of the fascinating characters to feature on No Man’s Land, Frank Turner’s most original project to date.
Although originally conceived in 2014, global events conspired to throw Turner off course from No Man’s Land. “The world went mad in 2016 and I felt like I needed to respond in a slightly more direct way”, explains Turner, who released the politically charged Be More Kind, which launched his outrage straight into the UK Album Chart Top Three. That’s not to say that No Man’s Land isn’t just as fired up, but despite the record’s implicit feminism, it doesn’t see Turner’s clambering onto any kind of soapbox. “It’s not telling anyone what to do or how to live or how to be”, he explains, prepared for a variety of different reactions to the project, including those who might be wondering if it’s really his place to be singing songs of disenfranchised women. “If there was a crowded field of people writing songs about Princess Kassiani then I would see the argument for me bowing out, but there isn’t,” he states. “No-one else is writing these songs right now. That’s why I want to share these stories.”