Musical Advent Calendar Day 22: Frank Turner – The Sand in the Gears

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You heard of bibliomancy, right? Yeah, predicting the future by opening a book – generally the Bible or some other sacred text, Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory, for example. Well, some similar type of magic juju was at work in the choice of today’s track.

There I was last night, consulting the rough list I’d made of possibles, and cycling through a couple of left field ideas I’d had from reading the reviews in the latest Uncut. None of them was really lighting my fire, when, on the Facebook tab, up popped no less a personage than Emma, the lead singer with Isaac Brutal, with Christmas wishes for the band.

This being Brutal, the Yuletide greetings consisted of a link to Frank Turner singing ‘Merry Christmas You Cnuts,’ or something like that. Always good to hear of that particular Anglo-Saxon king. But my act of playing that song, and pausing Jon Langford and Four Lost Souls to hear it, had got the modern equivalent of my spirit guide – Youtube’s algorithms – going. Busily doing something else again on another tab, I became dimly aware that we had moved on from Langford, to an English-accented set of vocals.

And so it was that I came upon Frank Turner’s modern day protest song, ‘The Sand in the Gears,’ and thought, aye, that’ll do just dandy. Brucie is a-coming on Christmas Eve, but until then, the advent calendar’s going to be a tricksy critter!



Stuck for a last minute present? Why not give those guys on the Bangladeshi border a better Christmas by donating to the Red Cross Myanmar Appeal. Your loved one will love you all the more for it. Unless they really wanted socks.























You know the drill by now. Here below adverts there be rearranged into a well known phrase.


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