IT’S a festive fundraiser with a difference from Frank Turner.

The Winchester musician, now a stadium filler, and one of the stars of the London 2012 Olympics, spends his 31st birthday playing two intimate gigs to help keep one of his favourite venues – The Joiners – in business.

A matinee show was added after tonight’s gig became the fastestselling in the venue’s history with tickets being snapped up by fans in just 90 seconds.

On the subject of small venues, he said: “Despite having played at larger places in recent years, the vast majority of my time as a musician has been spent on the stages of small bars, clubs and pubs. They are the lifeblood of any scene and are vitally important to anyone who gives a damn about music, whether underground or mainstream. Some venues that I know and love are, heartbreakingly, having a tough time.

“The Joiners Arms in Southampton is a venue that is really special to me. I saw my first ever show there (Snug, 1995, featuring one Ed Harcourt on guitar). Million Dead played there many times, including our last ever show in 2005. I have played there solo four times to date.

“The venue is having a tough time of late financially – a common occurrence for small venues, as they operate on a thin margin.

When I heard about it, I naturally wanted to help. Let’s all gang together and make sure the Joiners survives and continues to provide a platform for the music we all love. See you there.”