#How I Became A Fan: The Xtra Mile exposé
Your responses to an honest hashtag
On Tuesday 28 April, Twitter went mad with the trending topic #HowIBecameAFan. We’re not sure where it came from, but we can guess why it took off: people LOVE sharing their stories of discovery and fandom. We asked you to tag us in your tweets, and were so taken with them, we extended the question to Facebook and Instagram. We were floored with all the responses. Your stories are wonderful, simple, heartwarming, incredible, funny, complex, and more.
We also confirmed what we have long suspected: Frank Turner is a gateway drug...er...artist for a hell of a lot of you. Through Frank’s music, so many of you found our other bands and, eventually, our label. That just further re-enforces the community our artists have, the community you have; the one we all belong to. Our community is filled with amazing, like–minded people who appreciate great tunes that move their feet and hearts. Your stories gave us the warm fuzzies in our souls, and we hope by sharing all of them in one place you’ll get some warm fuzzies too. None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for becoming a fan of our bands, and of us. *tears*
Facebook [NB: posts have been slightly edited for clarity but are otherwise unchanged]
Lucy Kendell: I am an incredibly massive Reuben fan! I discovered them one day when watching Scuzz TV, they played their song 'Freddy Krueger', which is absolutely one of my favourites, the one that got me into them! I sat mesmerised by them, by this song that I had never heard of before until that moment, & instantly knew I had to check out their other stuff. I did so & most certainly wasn't disappointed. They are so unique, so talented, & yet so unfortunately underrated, but thats one of the many things I love about them, their underground status, as well as the obviously brilliant music they have blessed so many fans' lives with. I honestly cant describe their sound, thats how unique it is. I have too many favourite songs by them to count! They really do move me to tears, & make me so happy when listening to them. I really wish they would get back together, but I'm happy they're all happy with what each are doing right now. (XM: You can also be happy, Lucy, that Reuben just announced the vinyl reissue of second album Very Fast Very Dangerous. Preorder here!)
Ben Foxhall: As a young teenager with no real music taste, I heard Frank Turner and instantly became hooked. Saw him live a bunch of time and got so addicted to folk music - especially the bands i saw supporting him (Tim Barry, Jim Lockey & SS, Emily Barker, Beans On Toast, and a tonne more). Most of the bands i loved were Xtra Mile so then I listened to all their other signed artists and gaah yes thanks (XM: Our pleasure, Ben. You're going to love Will Varley!)
Dorene Holm: Saw Frank Turner in Pomona, Ca with Social Distortion and have been hooked ever since! (XM: If he can distract you from the mighty Social Distortion, he's done well, that Frank)
Helen Rambaut: We'd been to a wedding & I remembered the bride's son was some kind of singer so I found his website the next day; was very impressed by the lyrics I read from start to finish; & there was a video of him singing in a classroom. At the time my Dad had recently died & I wasn't sleeping which explains why I was awake & tuned in to show #1003 from the Knitting Factory, Brooklyn. I didn't so much find Frank Turner as he jumped out of the screen & grabbed my attention with the chat which made me smile & the passionate performance of his songs. Totally unexpected. That was 4 years ago tonight. & since then so many more gigs of his & The Sleeping Souls but also of many other bands & singers he's blogged & tweeted about or taken on tour. Loved every minute. (XM: What we love to hear is how much Frank gives to other artists, and to his fans by sending them in the right directions. Excellent description of your memory, Helen!)
Devon Hulse: I went to Blissfields festival in the summer one year with a friend not really knowing any bands playing. Once camped up we noticed in the tent across from us a bearded guy wearing no shoes who played guitar all night and was very friendly. The next day after watching some excellent bands getting ready for the headliner we notice the same bearded guy coming onto the stage and ended up playing a fantastic set under the name Beans On Toast. Very bizarre end to a great weekend, and I've been countless shows since. \m/ Looking back at the lineup now there's a high chance I ended up seeing Chris TT too before knowing about Xtra Mile. (XM: That Chris T-T has been around for time)
Ben Hughes: Frank was on the bill for Sonisphere so we looked him up and all agreed we need to see this guy. We were right at the front for his set and it was incredible. (XM: He rocks festivals like no one else. Glad you enjoyed, Ben!)
Joseph Stevens: My wonderful friend Robbie introduced me to Frank Turner during a very boring rehearsal for a play. I then ended up listening to bands and artists I'd heard Frank mention, a lot of whom are on Xtra Mile - this led me to the conclusion that I'd found the best record label in the known universe* and acquainted me with the likes of Reuben, Ben Marwood, (Jim Lockey & The) Solemn Sun, Against Me! and future of the left (the latter two being total game-changers for me in different ways). I think the tipping point for me was hearing Campfire Punkrock and shortly after, Million Dead. Truly shaped my music taste, thank you all so much. x (XM: We are truly humbled. Thank you for being so nice. I see an asterisk next to 'universe' though...what does THAT mean?)
Matt Baer: I first saw Frank Turner in 2010 and I was hooked instantly. The live performance he gave was like nothing I had seen before and I didn't even know any of the songs! Not that it mattered one bit though. Through many more Frank shows I have seen amazing opening acts that I then discovered were all on one amazing label: Xtra Mile Recordings! I then joined the street team and discovered many more artists that I can't imagine not knowing about now. (XM: Welcome to the team Matt! Thank you for all your hard work and your even-harder fan-ing!)
Maaike Broekhuijsen: I guess it started with Frank Turner, back when he was touring Europe with the Gaslight Anthem and Polar Bear Club. Being a Polar Bear Club fan, I wanted to go, but missed it because it sold out. That's when I started listening to Frank Turner, found myself liking it and since then, I've been to most of his shows here. Being who I am, I checked out the label he was on, not knowing what to expect. That's when I grew to love most bands and artists on the roster. With time passing, some of my old favorites got signed. Bands like Larry and His Flask, whom I first saw back in 2008 or 2009, in my small middle of nowhere hometown in the Netherlands, with almost no audience. Fighting Fiction in Utrecht, in 2013, was one of my most memorable evenings. My friends in Call it Off did the support, so I decided to show up. I might have had too much to drink, missed the last train, and ended up hanging around until the end. We had some great conversations after the show, including one about how I thought that it was hard for acoustic music to sound angry, and whomever I was talking to (probably the singer, I can't remember names to save my life), played an acoustic Against Me! cover to prove me wrong. Great bands, great guys, great evening. Was gutted when I heard they broke up not much later. (XM: Thanks for this Maaike. You sounds as if you've had some excellent nights with our bands!)
Chris Bowen: Bought a ticket to The Automatic in Bristol and got down early to find this guy in black with a big hat playing what he called 'Campfire Punkrock'...that was Frank. Never looked back, continued to see him and rave about him to anyone that listened. Started exploring the XM catalogue in about 2008 and saw Reuben. To this day the strongest label catalogue and so proud to be indie. Makes me want to keep mine running away! (XM: Glad you enjoy so much of our stuff! WE ARE THE STRONGEST YEAH, CHRIS SAYS SO! Thanks)
Daniel Benson: I remember seeing the video for 'Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin' and just being blown away by the sound that Reuben were producing, I immediately went out and bought Racecar Is Racecar Backwards and Very Fast Very Dangerous, I later found that neither of these albums contained the single but I didn't care I was hooked, I now own everything they ever put out. Shortly after they broke up I began to hear of a man named Frank Turner, who happened to be in the video for 'DLNA' so I thought "he's friends with Reuben so I'll give him the time of day". I now own most of his albums and his book. In the same vein I bought the Möngöl Hörde album just because it was Frank and Muscle Memory just as it was Jamie Lenman, both fantastic albums that I could listen to forever. Finally last year I discover Against Me! for the first time by listening to 'Talking Transgender Dysphoria Blues' when it came up in my suggested tracks on Deezer. Instantly hooked again, bought the album straight away again, and saw all the artists in Glasgow last year. Great year for gigs! (XM: We love this organic connection to each band - through sound and attitude - that happened in your journey, Daniel. Awesome.)
Richard Peck: I became aware of Frank Turner because of the 2012 Olympics. I then went to see the Revival Tour later that year where I saw Emily Barker, as well as Frank on his winter tour where I saw Tim Barry and Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun supporting. From there it's been a fairly simple move through artists like Dave Hause and Beans on Toast etc. I saw Northcote supporting Dave Hause and Chuck Ragan, and made sure I saw Billy the Kid when she was also on the Chuck Ragan tour as I knew she had been working with Frank. Will Varley is a great signing, someone that I'd started to get into through his appearances with some of the other artists. I'm basically working my way through the ones who can make magic with an acoustic guitar. (XM: That acoustic guitar can work wonders can't it? Glad you're enjoying the work of Will Varley - sounds like we're doing our jobs right! There's someone very exciting coming our way in this vein, Richard...)
Conor Brennan: Our band was able to open up for Franz Nicolay back in 2013 at Bard College and I got hooked on his music after seeing him play. Afterwards I got into and listened to a lot of Future of the Left and after going to one of their shows in New York I was given a demo sampler from a guy working the merch table. Checked out all the other music on there and was hooked. Y'all throw down. Also Against Me!'s new album is beyond words. Keep it up! (XM: We intend to Conor! If only to please you.)
Richard Wright: I was introduced to Frank Turner after hearing 'Recovery' on the radio, then when I saw him and the Sleeping Souls in Manchester in February 2014, Beans on Toast supported. (XM: Yep. That happens sometimes.)
Simon Brandy Malam: Seeing Frank Turner at Norwich Art Centre supporting Evan Dando in 2008 (see page 285 of the fan edition of Road Beneath My Feet for my full story). From there, I was opened up to a multitude of other Xtra Mile artists including to name but a few Jamie Lenman, Beans, Sonic, Tim Barry, Crazy Arm, Against Me, I could go on. Thanx Xtra Mile for some of the best music about today. (XM: Shucks! You make it easy for us, Simon!)
Gavin Bigvin Smith: I was at Guilfest in 2000 in the rain when some kid wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket strolled up to me and mumbled something about needing an angel in my life while pushing a cheap flyer in my hand promoting his band for a headline set on the Unsung Heroes stage that night. That guy was JamieLlenman and it was only a few months later they changed Angel to Reuben and I've been hooked ever since. (XM: GASP! An origin story! This is ACE! Thanks Gavin.)
Yehudith Valentine: I got hooked on Frank Turner in 2012, the year I graduated college. One of our best local alt-rock stations was about to die, the same month I was planning on moving out of state in search of an adult job. Everything felt very bittersweet, unsettled and full of change, and when the alt rock station, WFNX, put 'If Ever I Stray' into the rotation, I felt an instant connection to the song. Three years of obsessively following Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls later, I've branched out and have gotten into other Xtra Mile artists as well, most notably Against Me and Billy the Kid. (XM: Love the context for the connection to the song. Lovely stuff Yehudith!)
Mhairi Elliott: Heard Frank Turner's 'Long Live the Queen' on Radio 1 and it brought me to tears. Got into his music and have heard other Xtra Mile artists from his tours. (XM: Tears are regulation upon hearing 'LLtQ' for the first time.)
Christian K Harris: I stumbled upon Frank Turner's England Keep My Bones on Interpunk, listened to him and loved it. Found out there was a local show nearby with him and a guy named Beans on Toast. Checked out BoT and fell in love with his music too. And then I found Skinny Lister two weeks ago and have been listening to them non stop since. (XM: Infectious little tykes those Skinny Lister young'uns! Glad you're loving them. Assume you have the album by now, Christian? Whaddya think?)
Chelsealeigh Rose: Watched Frank performing very small shows back in the day (no pun intended!), checked out Xtra Mile, then got into Franz, Barry and others! Definitely my favourite record label. .and thank YOU for providing fantastic artists! My all time favourite gig is still Night and Day cafe, Manchester, 2011: Frank and Franz. (XM: thank YOU, Chelsealeigh, for providing your love for those fantastic artists. They appreciate it too)
Garry Johnson: Heading home with my daughter in the car we turned on Radio 1 and heard a live recording of Frank Turners 'Photosynthesis' on the Zane Lowe show. I dislike Zane's enthusiasm for absolutely everything in the world but this was great! Had to YouTube everything on Frank as soon as I stepped into the house. Having seen him a number of times live and collected as much of his music on CD & vinyl, I'm now listening to more and more Xtra Mile artists (including Skinny Lister who I will be seeing live in Leeds tomorrow night). Twitter, and mailing lists keep me up to date. Feel like part of a community and yet still being a loner. Keep up the good work guys. (XM: You're never truly alone as an Xtra Miler! Hope you enjoyed the SL gig, Gary!)
Robb Clarke: Found Reuben years ago then forgot about them (XM: WHAT! HOW COULD YOU?!). Found Frank via the Germs of Perfection Bad Religion tribute album. JL&TSS was introduced to me by FT the day that they released the video for 'Warriors'.
Luanne Iwan: Frank opened for Green Day's European leg in 2010. We listened to his music on the flight over from the U.S. to be familiar with it & fell in love with it instead. Since then, any time Frank or the full band are in the Midwest, my daughter & I make sure we go. (XM: Multi-generational gigging makes us very happy, Luanne.)
Bieke Heykers: I got intrigued by Skinny Lister as I was listening to all the bands that perform on the Vans Warped Tour (stage in Eindhoven) in preparation for the day itself. But I got hooked the moment I saw them perform live! What an energy! What an amazing sound! Recently I saw them for a second time (this time in Antwerp) and that performance blew me even more away! I hope to see them more in Belgium. (XM: We're glad we made the right choice and signed these lot! Thanks, Bieke!)
Amanda Baker: Frank was opening up for, I think, Flogging Molly at the time. Had a great time and ended up talking to him when he used to sell his own merch after the show. Just a really great down to Earth guy. After that, I've seen him countless times and have seen how popular he's become in recent years. Last month, I was lucky enough to be part of the Salty Dog cruise and thats when I was introduced to Beans on Toast. And who did I see in the crowd cheering them on? Good ol' Frank. Against Me! has also been an amazing part of my life too. I used to see them in cramped bars along the gulf coast and just fell in love with the raw emotion put into each lyric. Recently, I was able to visit them at a record signing and I brought in an old flyer from my favorite show years ago at a bar in Fl named Sluggo's. It's since been closed down, but it was great seeing their reactions and reliving those younger days. (XM: We've heard stories about the Salty Dog Cruise. Frank and Beans will be back next year too...CONFIRMED! We love hearing stories of Against Me!'s old fans too, Amanda. Thank you.)
Ian Barthelemy: I was introduced to Beans on Toast by Daniel Lucas from the excellent Boss Caine. Not stopped listening since (and stoked that he's playing in Reading soon). (XM: So are we, Ian. So are we.)
Rachel Patterson: Frank Turner was my first Xtra Mile love found on a random mistaken search which lead me to 'I Still Believe'. Next i saw Larry And His Flask open for Frank and was instantly amazed. Beans On Toast came up also as a random mistake but 'The Pub Holloway' had me instantly in love. Have now had the chance to see all three live, as well as Northcote ,and look forward to many more shows and a longer list of loves. (XM: So much love in (and for) this tweet.)
Trebor Tongim: Million Dead were a recommendation from one of my then GCSE history class. Saw them a couple of times and then when FT went solo, have seen him grow from playing the Joiners in Southampton, up to the Royal Albert Hall. Been quite a journey! Really liked Against Me! when they were on Fat Wreck and Sire. Loads of others like Larry and his Flask, Crazy Arm, Ben Marwood etc. have seen on FT tours and bought the CD afterwards. (XM: We like this Trebor, especially the "bought the CD afterwards" bit. Always support the artist! Well done.)
Tracy Tompson: An independent radio station, 102.7 WEQX - The REAL Alternative, up in Vermont started playing 'If Ever I Stray' by some guy called Frank Turner. I thought it was a pretty good. A few months later they started playing 'I Still Believe' and I fell in love! Been a huge fan ever since. (XM: These are excellent gateway songs, aren't they Tracy? Good ears you have there.)
Jake Cunnington: Saw Frank at the Green Day Old Trafford gig, thought he was brilliant and when he got overexcited playing what I believe was 'Photosynthesis', his input unplugged itself. Did this bother Frank in front of 60,000 people? Did it fuck! Saw him after that at Brixton Academy, again supporting Green Day and from then on I was hooked! (XM: Yeah he's a true professional that Frank guy. How can you not fall for a guy whose technical problems are self-made?)
Dan Martino: I went to see Frank Turner at the Manning Bar in Sydney after a chance discovery of him on Youtube. I dragged my mate along and it was one of the best nights I've ever had. You bond with complete strangers and you feel like you have license to completely lose your shit. (XM: Not only license, but recommended serving suggestion, Dan. Glad you took full advantage!)
Clare Booth: My husband heard Frank Turner on Zane Lowe, liked what he heard but didn't catch the name. We then got a tip from a friend to go see "the awesome support for Gaslight Anthem" in Southsea. We did, were hooked and the rest is history. Found Beans, Ben Marwood, JL&TSS, Larry and his flask, Will Varley et al via Frank. (XM: He's a giving sort, that FT.)
John Rawson: I was minding my own business listening to Sara Cox on R1, trying to get some work done, she played a track by some fella I'd never heard of, and I was captivated by it. A quick search revealed he wasn't Orlando Bloom's character from Pirates of the Caribbean, but some sort of reformed punk. After a bit of cajoling, I convinced a mate to come along to see one of his shows for Banquet Records in Kingston (I'm an Essex boy), and was blown away. That artist was Frank Turner, and he started an amazing journey for me. Not only a great writer and performer, but a really good bloke, always happy to say hi when you bump into him, always passionate about something. Of course, Frank has lead me to, via supports and CD's at gigs, to Billy the Kid, Beans on Toast, Ben Marwood, Northcote, Will Varley, Retrospective Soundtrack Players, Oxygen Thief, Million Dead, Möngöl Hörde, Tim Barry and a bunch of other artists not signed to Xtra Mile but with a similar ethos. But more than all that, he helped me find my Better Half and has introduced my 10 year old daughter to real music. Thanks guys. (XM: Excellent tale, John. Like the song referencing. Also love that people adopt the umlauts, even in tweets, for Möngöl Hörde.)
Hindi Kornbluth: My friend Valerie kept talking about this weird Frank Turner artist and I got sick of not knowing wtf she was talking about. Then she ruined my life with the other XMR artists because FT is like a gateway drug. (XM: And now you're one of us Hindi. ONE OF US. ONE OF US. etc.)
Kelly Holman: I guess the first Xtra Mile performance I ever saw was at a bar, on a muted TV, in Canada. These adorable villagers were dancing on a hill at the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics, whilst all sorts of sheep-related merriment occurred below. But the first performance I ever HEARD was in September 2012. I was working this all-consuming database job that I hated, well into the night, and ended up turning on Conan (US chat show) to see who the musical guest was. I had been somewhat removed from new music for about a year, but Frank and the Souls performing 'I Still Believe' which grabbed me by my face and threw me into the brilliant world of Xtra Mile. After the initial "Gateway Frank", it was Larry and His Flask (and a then-unsigned Billy the Kid!) live in Toronto, which then led me to check out Frank's other suggestions, and buy the music of Dive Dive, Fighting With Wire, Ben Marwood, Oxygen Thief, RSPs, Jim Lockey, Beans on Toast, Chris T-T, Emily Barker, etc.... Quite sure there is an alternate universe, in which I watched the Daily Show instead of Conan, and Other Me is cursed to walk the planet without ever hearing any of the best goddamn musicians in the world, or meeting any of the awesome people associated with this community of greatness. (XM: Oh, we'd find Other You too, somehow, someway. It would be a dimension-bending farcical adventure!)
Twitter [NB: tweets have not been altered]
@TamaraCady: #HowIBecameAFan saw @frankturner open for @floggingmolly in Cincinnati and have been hooked ever since. received a @billypettinger sampler with a @frankturner record recently *mind blown*
@aroundmywrist: I received a letter while in Paris wishing me a happy birthday from a Mr @benmarwoodmusic with his TINWYHP EP. #HowIBecameAFan
@OneNightOnlyNCH: after loss of sister someone played me long live the queen! Amazing song, amazing performer - pls be @ Glasto ft
@Flushed_Away: listening to @Straight_Lines play at the CCS before a match, whilst my brother @Titch_1927 got there autographs #HowIBecameAFan
@ChickNatalie: #HowIBecameAFan a mutual friend gave me a demo CD of @frankturner nearly a decade ago. I have converted many to FT since then.
@VocalicPage: Saw @frankturner w/ @10YearsGone11; he covered Thunder Road on @springsteen's b-day & my <3 was forever lost. #HowIBecameAFan
@ThatOneChick756: Was told about @frankturner during a convo about @beanstoast. After hearing one song I went to a show that week. #HowIBecameAFan
@seandoc1967: @frankturner led to @beanstoast led to @WillVarleyMusic! And seeing all 3 live again in next few months! #HowIBecameAFan
@LITTLETINY74: #HowIBecameAFan I heard "The Real Damage" which I related to so much at that time in my life, been on the journey ever since.
@Cinder87: YouTube Linked me to (Will Varley) because of @beanstoast & @frankturner love. Brilliant songs!
@CarlPantling: @frankturner @Xtra_Mile thanks to (Frank) huge Will Varley fans will be at cookie jar Leicester soon.
@Aidan1893: Political debate in school. A friend started playing 'Thatcher F****d The Kids' on her phone. The rest is history
@BenMorse: #HowIBecameAFan @frankturner told me @benmarwoodmusic lived in my town. Plus that he was face meltingly awesome. Both were true.
@SoundofMySummer: @frankturner I saw @WillVarleyMusic open for @beanstoast in Portsmouth. His album is brilliant and chuffed to see him sign to @Xtra_Mile
@danmorgan: Had been a fan of @frankturner since Million Dead days, then saw @beanstoast supporting him. Thanks to seeing @beanstoast, saw @WillVarleyMusic supporting him. Also saw @larrysflask supporting @frankturner. Saw @CrazyArmBand supporting @larrysflask. Booked @2000trees due to @frankturner headlining in 2013, saw @SOLEMNSUN @benmarwoodmusic @therspuk (and many more). Entered a competition and had @ToKillAKing play in my house #HowIBecameAFan
@colourmama: #howibecameafan @Xtra_Mile festival coverage 2011(?) of @frankturner stopped me dead in my tracks. He's led to many more, esp. @beanstoast
@ThisIsTLAD: @christt played on the same bill as my old band, Betty, at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town. He smashed it :) #HowIBecameAFan
@itsnoble_: #HowIBecameAFan @frankturner on the radio and then @beanstoast at beautiful days!
@kizrauhl: #HowIBecameAFan I used to collect wristbands and someone gave me an @Xtra_Mile one, then one day I YouTubed a few bands from it and yeh wow
@deep_cellar: #HowIBecameAFan @SamLydon3 recommended @frankturner after interviewing him for @purefm in 2007, seen him 25 times since!
@SprostonJake: I became a fan of @beanstoast through the road to Wembley a film made mr turner and I loved it #howIbecameafan
@njevans87: #HowIBecameAFan @Xtra_Mile I went to see @frankturner in 2011 with @SeeHitch, she got punched in the face, I got Frank Fever. Fair trade.
@LeneMusic84: I first stumbled across @ToKillAKing via @bastilledan Then I listened to their music + immediately fell in love with the great lyrics, the stunning music + the incredible voice of @Ralph_TKAK
@kimberleygo_x: crazy man shouted at me to crouch at main stage of Reading just so he could see us all jump at once @frankturner
@amme_mc: my friend suggested I listened to Frank turner & that's where it all began!! My bank account has never recovered
@SarKevin: #HowIBecameAFan Saw Flogging Molly 5 years ago. Frank Turner played first and sang all the thoughts in my head. Instantly hooked
@carenoak: #HowIBecameAFan of @Xtra_Mile artists? Stumbled via @heathertattooer s #TDH artwork and listened to @frankturner’s #anymore
@MarieOverjoyed: I found @ToKillAKing on YouTube. I wish I had a cooler #HowIBecameAFan story but that's it. I fell in love. It's as easy as that.
@Roodie_M: my wife dragged me to a @frankturner show. Yes, dragged. By Photosynthesis I was hooked. #HowIBecameAFan
@Swarley_94: Watching the Olympics opening ceremony and some shouty English folk singer appeared on the hill with a guitar #HowIBecameAFan
@MissSallyWalker: Our places were too good to move from at Leeds fest. We saw Frank Turner. Hooked from the first song
@Hannarrrb89: heard Frank turner across a field while stewarding reading festival asked to take my break to see the last 2 songs #HowIBecameAFan
@mrsdoigy: Big son showed me Reuben Studio Diaries 1 night. Those boys were hilarious + music was epic. Was hooked! #HowIBecameAFan
@CarlNelson10: I found and fell in love with so many artists through seeing just one, Mr Frank Turner and Co #HowIBecameAFan
@fturnerlyrics: 7 years ago, The Ballad of Me and My Friends shuffled onto my last.fm @frankturner @Xtra_Mile @_sleepingsouls #HowIBecameAFan
@alphabeatablog: @Xtra_Mile #howibecameafan I became a fan of FT in 2012 purely through finding him by chance on Spotify, loved Xtra Mile artists since!
@jburgy_95: #HowIBecameAFan Accidentally stumbled across Wessex Boy when looking for some of Alex Turner's songs and been hooked ever since.
@touristfuture: #HowIBecameAFan @Xtra_Mile to kill a king live made me a fan, before I just liked a few songs. I find it hard to pick favourites now.
@ruthyT76: heard i still believe & immediately listened to & fell in love with frank turners music in a way i havnt before! #HowIBecameAFan
@stressgirl70: I saw @frankturner open for @DropkickMurphys in Boston for St. Patrick's Day and have been hooked ever since #HowIBecameAFan
@traci01420: saw @larrysflask open for @frankturner in boston in 2012 and was blown away #HowIBecameAFan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UR-48VHKgw …
@ShaunJacquesUK: Became a fan of FT after he was announced for leeds '08 and kind of listened to a load of other xtra mile bands via that
@talesfromme: #HowIBecameAFan of Frank Turner, I googled videos on photosynthesis for revision for my Biology degree and clicked on his video! it did nothing for my revision, but everything for my musical taste!
@CallieHelm86: I saw @ToKillAKing live on Bastille's tour last year and was blown away by their genius. Huge supporter now. #HowIBecameAFan
@jcgfc11: Friends at uni advised me to listen to @frankturner , so I checked him out n 26 gigs later still obsessed #HowIBecameAFan
@jeopardista: @PasteMagazine listed England Keep My Bones as 1 its 10 best, so I bought it on a lark.Couldn't stop playing it. #HowIBecameAFan.
@SeeHitch: how all good music relationships start. An impromptu pit in a Leicester night club
@pacingthinking: someone tweeted a pic of @frankturner with an unconscious-drunk @jimmyjames_b so I checked out his music #HowIBecameAFan. Found the evidence too!
@frankturner: @pacingthinking @Xtra_Mile @againstme haha that's ace.
@jimmyjames_b: @frankturner @pacingthinking @Xtra_Mile @againstme Damn! That's embarrassing.
Instagram [NB: Instagram posts have not been altered]
@dennasus: blogged about #HowIBecameAFan of @frankturner about two years ago. Finding his music (and him ;-)) definitely enriched my life. His lyrics mean a lot to me, his gigs are the most fun ever and he's just such a wonderful human being. So, thanks to @xtramilerecordings for giving him a platform to do what he does! Link to blog: http://www.beforewegetbored.com/2013/06/28/guitars-and-drums-and-desperate-poetry/
@radwoahdude: One day I was looking for folk music and at the time I was particularly interested in Celtic folk. I stumbled upon a post on tumblr of someone saying their favorite Irish folk singer was Frank Turner. A couple searchers later I learned not only was he not Irish but he was an amazing artist. He then became my favorite artist of all time. Thanks Frank!
@kerrbrady: Mull Historical Society was my very first gig! Been a massive fan ever since. All the way back in 2003 at the Barrowlands, Glasgow.
@robescott: I went to Green Day at Wembley and enjoyed Frank so much I took @meelied to his Bath Komedia show (2010), where Ben Marwood and Fighting Fiction supported. The XMR love affair began right there!
@moggeletto: My first artist was Frank Turner. Without knowing who he was, the fire from Campfire Punkrock was my scout group's emblem, and If Ever I Stray was my fave song. Later, I did the Olympics Opening Ceremony at the same time as him. It felt like too many coincidences to not give him a listen (ofc I'm hooked on everyone else now too)
@mjaysphoto: I'd been in bed with spinal problems on & off (more on) & off my head on morphine, tramadol, Valium & other very strong pre scripted meds. It wasn't until St Albans last October, my mate was going so I thought f*ck it I'll give it a go. So I remember seeing Koo Koo Kanga Roo Two slipped discs at the base of my spine in absolute agony & then this Wessex Boy comes on stage & I was mesmerised. Thought FT was well worth the pain & I went the Xtra Mile in my pain threshold to have a wicked time. In bed for two days later with a smile on my face. So now I'm hooked on Frank, Billy the Kid & my scripted meds. The end written by Mark aged 50
@kimmieariane: I became a fan of Frank Turner when one of my friends showed me his music and through seeing Frank live I have found other artists like beans on toast and skinny lister
@stillborn_unicorn: I went to see Chuck Ragan a year ago in Bristol (Thekla) and there a woman called Billy the Kid stole my heart and is yet to give it back. Seen her countless times since and met her loads and now we're friends on FaceBook and I even got to send her a birthday card this year. Amazing, she's my favourite.
@the_realmattsuter: #howibecameafan is really quite simple .... The first one I bought was sleep for the week by @frankturner in a record store( imagine that ) that brought me to @xtramilerecordings being s fan of the label has brought me to such great music and finding it the old fashioned way ...kind of the way I used to when I used to just go into a record store and just buy an artist cd not because my phone was telling me it has great reviews but because it looked good ..taking a chance on an artist on spec and using your imagination ....since then I've gotten into @billythekidpettinger ...beans on toast... Ben Marwood...Jim Lockey( who I've also seen live. @roblynch_ Skinny Lister... And this is all because I bought that @frankturner all those years ago.... Then connecting to the label which I know buy record label shirts , etc. Keep up the great work
@flamingopoppins: I went overseas to #Adelaide #Australia and was invited by a new friend- (a new crush)- to see Frank Turner. I hadn't heard heaps of his music before so I looked him up and saw @benmorse 's Peggy Sang the Blues video and felt immediately understood- I didn't get to the show in time that night but over the next two years I became familiar with more and more incredible @xtramilerecordings artists, started an interview series featuring many of them and handled some of the biggest life transitions and challenges with "grace" (so my friends have said) and I know that for me it's because I've had the amazing, reassuring and moving influence of artists like #BenMarwood @emilybarkerhalo @crazyarm_official @tokillaking @jimlockey @solemnsun @frankturner @larryandhisflask @billythekidpettinger and many more in my life. I am so grateful for these discoveries #howibecameafan
How about those for some stories? We know how to fill your May Day and Bank Holiday weekend (or plain old weekend for you non UKers) right? You can keep telling us #HowIBecameAFan if you want. Get at us on Facebook, Twitter @Xtra_Mile, Instagram @xtramilerecordings, or even in longform at contributions[at]xtramilerecordings[dot]com. Keep making this community a bigger and better and bolder thing. Give us ideas for HUB pieces, and keep telling us how great we are. You're all awesome, after all. Thank you all.