Lyrics: “Pass It Along” – Frank Turner, 2011
It’s always difficult to not compare similar events with each other, right? This was my 3rd Lost Evenings Festival and yes it was very different from the first two for me. But it was just as much the same. It’s Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings, for crying out loud.
Compared to my previous two LE’s in 2017 and 2018 in London, I did less “socialising with new people” and I’m not quite sure yet how I (should) feel about that. I spent time or at least chatted with / said Hello to quite a few people I’ve gotten to know over the years from Germany, Europe and North America. And that’s always lovely. Each night I had people I know from other gigs and/or social media around me. I easily chatted with the people I didn’t know around me in the queue or at the barrier. Which I wouldn’t have and in fact did not do during my first few years at Frank Turner shows. My main objective for going to LE wasn’t to make tons of new friends. So why do I feel like I failed in that regard? Lots of reasons, probably, and most of them all in my head, which is a never-ending story.
One of my main other reasons to not socialise as much was still the pandemic, I guess. I tried to limit my time inside closed rooms as much as I could. (And yes, I could not NOT be in the venue right after the doors opened). I watched a few selected panels, the one with Frank mostly, because… he IS the reason I’m doing “this” (being a fangirl) after all. But I didn’t join any other group activity like pubs or sightseeing outings and such.
Stats & Spirals| Some song stats, because I’m a nerd. In my count the Frank played 95 songs in total. 18 of those he and the Sleeping Souls played twice, 77 only once. Which is quite impressive, especially considering that the lyrics of many songs have so, so, so many words. He played two of the five rarer ones I had hoped for, which is good. There are just too many songs to choose from. Songs I heard him play live for the first time this weekend? The rarer ones of EKMB, for sure, like “Nights Become Days”. The Solo/Duo Night was only the second time I heard “Worse Things Happen At Sea”. And of course, I was thrilled to hear “Pass It Along” once again.
Most surprising to me rarer ones, he chose to play: “Oh Brother” for some reason and “Bar Staff”. I’m so glad I had the chance to sing along to some of my old favourites and especially twice to some of my new ones. All those FTHC songs, which speak to me in my current not always best state of mental health. I had a bit of a downward spiral yesterday for some reason. In the first draft of my post, I called it a silly reason, but then I realized that I don’t want and shouldn’t be too down on myself. There was a reason for that spiral, and I don’t have to furthermore devaluate that reason. Right? I’m happy enough, that I realize that my mind is playing tricks in that moment and that I’m in the process of learning how to deal with it. And also, that I’ve got friends I can text and vent to when I’m in this state. You know who you are.
I’m afraid another thing I had planned to write about has just now – while editing the first draft of this post – put me in another weird spiral of negative thinking. Which means that I really should cut this post short after all and focus on getting out of my head. (Sorry for this slightly weird interjection at this point of the post: You’re watching my messed-up mind at work!)
Klutz | Lost Evenings started on a not so happy note for me. And I will now put the theory to you that Berlin does not want you to take the bus or ride a bike. I don’t know. There were cycle paths on the pedestrian section of the street. No problem as such. But in these cases, when you get out the bus at your stop you have to cross the cycle bit to get to the part of the bit you’re supposed to walk on. Who plans that? Someone who wants to have bus passengers and cyclist crash into each other on a regular basis? And the bike and walk sections aren’t designated as such clearly.
That was a long roundabout way of leading into the story how I stumbled and fell flat on my face the moment I got to the venue on Thursday. Because I got off the bus and after a few steps realized I’m on the cycle bit and should move, because there were cyclists coming up. I was hectic and probably didn’t lift my foot as much as needed, got stuck on something and bam! Flat on my face. Well on my knees and then right side and hand. Ouch! It all hurt quite a bit the first evening, especially my right finger and I was worried it might get worse. It didn’t and the knees were also mostly okayish from day 2 on. On day 3 I started to realize that I must have bruised my rips a bit as well, because now they started bothering me at certain movements. And they still do. Not massively, but enough to get an uncomfortable twinge every now and then.
Do I need to add that on the last night up in the balcony with very high steps (so people can stand on them to watch over the people in front) I manged to stumble again. Upwards this time, because my legs and feet obviously were so tired. But that was more embarrassing than painful.
Women Power | All the panels with Frank (and the Sleeping Souls) were wonderful, entertaining, insightful. But my favourite might have been the “Women in Music” one, which shone a light on the many disadvantages women (in punk bands, but in the industry in general) are still facing. Some of the stories the women from Berries and also Tre and Silke from the production side of it told, were horrible. Sexist and rude and all. Not surprising though, because we’ve all had our share of these experiences as well, right? I’m glad some things seem to be changing, but it’s a slow and tedious process and as a music fan I once again felt empowered to do my bit. Listen to more music from women. Go to more gigs from female bands. Talk about it and share it…
This weekend I also had the chance to meet two female artists, I really like, which was lovely. I had met Jess Guise after the show on Monday already, but it was nice to chat to her again on Saturday with a few more of her Patreons. A very cool surprise was to see Grace Petrie arrive at the venue and other fans daring to ask her for a photo and such, so I did as well. It was just a quick chat, but I was of course over the moon to have her say “I’m thrilled your wearing that shirt” to me.
Souvenirs | I didn’t buy and LE merch this time and I’ve got all the FTHC merch I like. The new Pet Needs shirt was sold out in my size, so I allowed myself to spend a probably insane amount of money on a set of unique (only a few of this kind exist) Christmas Ornaments. Which I probably hang / put anywhere but a Christmas tree, because I don’t usually do one. These were items to raise funds for the Ally Coalition, one of the few charities Frank and his team are working with. This one helps LGBTQ+ youth in the US and LGBTQ+ is a cause dear to my heart, so I thought: You saved on merch, it’s a good cause. go for it!
And now I’m off meditating, journaling or anything to get that new “Oh, you’re so stupid and not worthy” thought out of my head. Trying to bring back the uplifting, life-affirming power I have felt at all my five Frank gigs this week. Wish me luck…