The Frank and Walters on tour with Carter USM

The Frank and Walters are just beginning to catch their breaths after a hectic weekend on tour supporting Carter USM. The gigs took in two of the UK’s finest venues: The O2 Manchester Academy and the infamous Brixton Academy in London.

The fun began in Manchester when friend of the band “Sig” came over from Derry with the notion that he should come on stage wearing an oversized Bez mask. This made perfect sense with Manchester being the home of The Happy Mondays. However, Sig’s next surprise was producing life-size masks of The Frank and Walters (pictured below).

The Frank and Walters wearing masks of themselves

The Franks wearing Franks' masks

Paul got such a kick out of these that he suggested the band wear them onstage. Despite visibility being restricted to two tiny pierced holes the band wandered cautiously onstage wearing the masks of themselves to the bewildered delight of the Manchester fans. And it wasn’t only the fans’ eyes playing tricks on them. Further psychedelia was added by Paul and Rory wearing the masks on the back of their heads for the rest of the gig. Ash said it was a bizarre sight watching Paul’s head smiling back at him while his “other face” sang to the crowd!

The guys decided to keep the stage tricks for the Brixton Academy which has a capacity of 5,000.

The biggest cheer of the night came for the rarely performed “Happy Busman” which many of the crowd remember from The Franks’ performance on The Word.

One of the nice things about being the support band is having the opportunity to unwind with a beer and watch the fantastic Carter USM delight the crowd with their indie anthems and incredible light show.

Paul Linehan of The Frank and Walters shares a drink with Carter USM's JimBob after both bands play the O2 Brixton Academy

The Franks' Paul with Carter USM's JimBob

At the after-show party Carter’s manager Marc informed The Franks that Saturday night’s gig had the second largest amount of Beer ever sold at the venue, just behind a gig by The Specials! Let’s put that impressive stat down to the fact that the crowd worked up quite a thirst due to the amount of indie dancing….

So after the incredible reception received at both Manchester and London The Franks return home happy in the knowledge that they’ll soon return to London in The Borderline on March 24th 2012 with a brand new album tour. Click here to pick up your tickets now!

Table Tennis Deathmatch: The Franks’ Paul Linehane versus RedFM’s Dave Mac

This Friday night will see a clash of the Table Tennis Titans: The Frank and Walters’ Paul Linehane takes on Red FM’s Dave Mac in a table tennis match held in Curran’s Restaurant.

This showbiz showdown has been on the cards for months now with both contenders eager to clinch the crown of Cork’s greatest table-tennis champion. The trash-talking first began on this very blog when Dave Mac became aware of Paul’s ping-pong prowess as demonstrated during the recording of The Franks’ new album “Grenwich Meantime” in The Factory in Dublin. Having beaten the rest of the band senseless Paul began to destroy the confidence of “Once” director John Carney. 

Paul’s success just made Dave Mac hungrier for a faceoff and he raised the notion of a showdown on his show on Red FM. The competition gained more ground at The Franks’ acoustic show on Spike Island in September where Dave Mac was the MC. But the fateful day has now arrived.

On Friday 24th of November Dave Mac will play Paul in Curren’s restaurant at 8pm with the winner being awarded the honour of singing seminal Frank’s song After All at The Christmas Show on Dec 23rd in The Pavillion (tickets available here)

For your chance to win 2 tickets to the Table Tennis Death-match (and a few drinks and snacks!) simply log onto the Franks Facebook page here and like the deathmatch status! 

Good luck!

 

 

The Franks’ Top Three Touring Tips

Having started up in 1989, The Franks have amassed considerable music industry and touring experience. On a recent trip to France the band were discussing the different touring rules that could be helpful to younger bands and give an insight into what being a touring band is like. The following are a few of those tips.

1)      Snorers Versus Angels

The Franks have seen many bands go on tour for several months at a time, eventually suffering from exhaustion and nearly killing each other. One way to avoid this cliché is to ensure a good night’s sleep and this begins by identifying the snorers in the band. In the Franks’ case the snoring offenders are Rory and Ashley. To ensure harmony in the band, Ash and Rory share a room and manage to sleep through each other’s nocturnal nasal screeching while Paul and Cian usually room together allowing them to sleep like Angels on a cloud.

2)      Play every Game Possible

Touring and travelling, while a great perk of the job, can get a little boring leaving bands feeling restless. Usual ways to appease this boredom include drinking life threatening amounts of alcohol, throwing TV’s through hotel windows and getting arrested. The Franks prefer to stay alive and out of jail by channelling this energy into games: Playing table-tennis, pool, fuβball and the dreaded “Don’t say “’Yeah”’ game. The one rule being you can’t say ‘Yeah’ which is genetically impossible when you’re from Cork.

The Frank and Walters play fuβball in Reimes, France

Franks fuβball: Snorers Vs Angels

The photo above shows the Franks playing fuβball in a bar in Reimes, France last weekend. The teams were the Snorers versus the Angels, which The Angels won 8-2. The snorers blamed fatigue for their dismal performance.

3)      Statue Re-enactments

The Franks’ Facebook fans will know a statue rarely escapes being re-enacted when the Franks are on tour. The first statue re-enactment took place in Bratislava in March this year (pictured below) and the most recent one taking place in Paris last weekend. If any readers feel there’s a statue near them which is begging to be re-enacted simply drop the guys a line on their Facebook, Twitter or Myspace pages.

The Frank and Walters re-enact a statue Pere Lachaise graveyard in Paris

Complicated Statue Re-enactment in Pere Lachaise, Pari

The Frank and Walters re-enact a statue in Bratislava, Slovakia

Franks Statue Re-enactment, Bratislava

Keys, vocals and moving statues

With another week drawing to a close, The Franks have edged closer to finishing their new album. The dust had barely settled on their Indiependence gig at the weekend when Paul and the boys were back in the studio laying down the vocals and keyboard parts. Photographer Mushy Pea made a cameo appearance this week stopping by to capture Paul and Cian working through the Keyboard parts.

Cian and Paul choosing string parts

The Franks working out the album's string sections with engineer Ciaran Lynch

As mentioned in the previous post, Cian has been recording on Paul’s computer (seen in the picture above) and so the band are now sifting through each part and will pick their favourite. The new album will feature seven keyboards and a Steinway upright piano. All Keyboard parts which are not used for the album will be donated to Children in Need – of keyboard parts.

Meanwhile, Ash has been busy in the upstairs studio recording the percussion parts for each song. He assured Mushy Pea that his hat was backwards to improve his tamborining and not to look cool or to lay down a rap.

Ash recording Tamborine for the new album

Mean Tamborine

With a hard weeks work done in the studio with absolutely no table-tennis (as RTE are filming in the Factory studios and the table tennis room has become the female actresses dressing room) the lads remained completely focused and allowed for no messing.

Except this…

Paul's statue re-enactment

Paul Versus Bonead

Week 4 in the studio: Guitar recording and table-tennis defeat

This week in the studio was dominated by guitars. Paul has laid down all of the acoustic guitar tracks while Rory has filled the studio with every guitar paraphernalia ever invented. For fellow guitar geeks Rory wanted to share what guitars will feature on the new album.
“For this album, guitar-wise, I have been rotating between my own much loved custom shop Telecaster and a borrowed Original 50’s Gibson 335 which would be the jewel of any players guitar collection, valued somewhere in the region of £10,000-20,000 Sterling so most players can only dream of playing an original.

Rory playing Niall's "Gibson 335"

Unfortunately as it’s a borrowed instrument (from Niall Linehane) it must be returned to its owner immediately after the recordings and so wont be featuring in the Franks album tour. The Telecaster is perfectly suited to the rhythm parts of each track while the 335 is more suited to lead and octaves. A Gibson Firebird will also feature on some of the more rock based tracks tho the bulk of the work is done on the tele and the 335.”
Guitar Pedals used during the Frank and Walters album recording

Rory's guitar pedals

“So far the pedals used include a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter Tap Tremelo and a ZVEX Fuzz factory.”
So for anyone who thought Rory was shy and humble constantly looking at his feet, he’s actually only changing the sound of his guitar!
While Rory has been taking up the recording desk with the guitar Paul and Ash retired to Cian’s Keyboard Land to do some last minute sculpting on the lyrics.
Paul and Ash writing lyrics

Paul and Ash tinkering with the lyrics

There has been speculation that Paul is changing some of the lyrics to reflect the recent defeat in table-tennis at the hands of director John Carney. After their last battle Paul reigned supreme but this week John came back with Balls of Fury and has regained the factory championship trophy. The Franks front-man has been humbled but was last spotted downloading a table tennis app on his i-phone.

Week 3 in the Studio

Week 3 in the Studio has seen the Franks step up in the recording activity. So far Ash’s drums are completed, Paul has laid down all of his bass tracks and Rory has begun the guitar odyssey that will feature heavily on the album. For anyone who may not be familiar with recording, capturing the guitar sound is probably the longest part of the process . As with all Indie music, the guitar drives the songs and so finding the right sound is essential. Rory has spent hours experimenting with different amps, pedals and guitars themselves.

Meanwhile, Cian has been sent to keyboardland in the next room. Paul has set up his Apple computer and Logic home recording studio for Cian to record several hundred piano, strings and synth parts from which to choose for the final production.

The Franks Keyboard set-up

Cian's Keyboard land

But there is one distraction detracting from the guys’ productivity: the table tennis. Not content with pummelling his bandmates, Paul has resorted to seeking challenges outside of the band. In the production office next door in the Factory is John Carney, director of world-romancer “Once”.

Paul from The Franks plays Director of "Once" John Carney

Table Tennis Battles: Paul versus John Carney

Epic battles have taken place on that table but we’re proud to announce Paul has come out the victor so far. There’s another week for John to claim the Ping Pong Crown but for this week the trophy heads back to Cork with The Franks.