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26th November 2011

Live: King Charles @ Roadhouse

The regally named King Charles conquers the hearts of girls across the nation.

King Charles
16th November
3 and a half stars

A friend of mine saw King Charles in Leeds last week and described him as a “complete knob”. With this in mind I was all set to sneer at his performance and join in with the scathing remarks. So imagine my disappointment when he turned out not to be a knob at all. Yes, he loves himself. Yes, he is theatrical. And yes, he does remind me of character from Made in Chelsea. I think it’s something to do with his waxed moustache and his bum-length, half dreaded yet luscious mop, which falls out of his beehive-like bun when head banging.  But don’t we want musicians to have a bit of character and put on a show?

It’s fair to say King Charles is still finding his distinct style as the set list combined a strange mix of genres, rather than the straight forward indie-folk I was expecting. He and the band looked happiest when rocking out, straying from the tracks and indulging in face melting guitar solos that would have seemed just as appropriate coming from a Led Zeppelin tribute band.

It took a few songs to really warm up, as even the poppy ‘Bam Bam’ failed to move the crowd. But the song about crocodiles and polar bears brought the show alive, its epic bass and synth shaking the whole room. The popular ‘Love Lust’ sounded better played live, stripped back, drawing attention the simple but pretty harmony and lyrics. He had the whole crowd swaying in time to ‘Beating Heart’, which had me smiling in spite of the obvious cringe factor.

To the despair of the bouncers, the band invited the girls (and only later the boys) to a stage invasion. I found this all a bit forced but no one else was complaining and after the gig the girls’ toilets were buzzing with talk of hot musicians and after show parties.

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