Charlie Simpson seems to have been around the Music Business for eons, I must admit here, that yes I was dragged to seem him when he was in Busted at least a couple of times by my younger sister at the NEC, if I remember he was playing a flying drum kit! Is this possible? Or was I seeing things? And it's not my age either.
I have long since been an admirer of Mr Simpson, following him through to Fightstar whom I Love and now on to his 'solo' material and tour.
Tonight sees the second date of the second solo tour, gutted I missed the first tour, but family in Wales beckons, but thankfully here we are at the Slade Rooms in Wolvo. What an amazing venue, staff are lovely and helpful and the room was all new and had an amazing view of the stage.
The current tour coincides with the second release from 'Young Pilgrim', 'Cemetery'. It seems Fearne Cotton has latched on to just how good this solo album is, as its getting quite a lot of airplay on Radio One, which is very pleasing. I can't get enough of the album and must admit I found it a refreshing change and a breath of fresh air and now have it on repeat in the car, it brightens any day up totally.
'Young Pilgrim' has been described as "a 12 track that emanates vintage warmth and whose luscious melodies and occasional imperfections lend it a vibrant character and earnest warmth." I totally agree, it's like having ready brek on a cold winter morning, makes you all warm and contented.
We got to the venue quite late after realising the venue was in a different place to where we originally thought. We managed to catch the last couple of songs from Dave McPherson, amazing guy with just a guitar on stage, did an astounding rendition of 'Boom, Boom, Shake, Shake the Room', the audience lapped it up.
Mr Simpson and his amazing entourage [band] came on stage just after 9.30; we were treated to a blistering 60 min set which showcased all the 'Young Pilgrim' catalogue. Chaz was looking rather swarve in his Vans, jeans, white shirt, waistcoat and tie, his band were looking quite tidy too.
The backing band complemented Simpson and were quite impressive to say the least, on the night Nick Warpole stood out for me with his outstanding vocals, he certainly is a one man band with his instrument playing skills. The 14 song set was astounding; I loved every minute of it. The set kicked off with 'Suburbs', then the amazing 'Parachutes', and current single Cemetery'.
Between songs there were wolf whistles, screams from prepubescent girls and shouts of "Charlie" and "Charlie, we love you." Audience was kinda mixed which was a good thing and it made for an astonishing evening, full of energy and vigour.
'Thorns' was up next, followed by first single from 'Young Pilgrim', Crowd pleaser 'Sundown', what a Tuunnnneee! Totally loved it. 'I Need A Friend Tonight', 'Down, Down, Down' and 80's cult classic, 'Just Died in Your Arms Tonight', which Simpson described as the best song to come out of the 80's: He didn't disappoint, it knocked my socks off.
Tracks to stand out for me were 'Please Let Me Go', just Simpson and Warpole on stage, guitar and Percussion, absolutely awesome, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Must buy it from itunes now!
Also, 'Riverbanks' this was the show closer before the encore, there seemed to be a posse on stage now, even the guitar tech (Tour Manager!) had joined in. They looked like they were having a whale of a time, even though I can't play a note it made me wanna rush on stage and join in. Totally awe inspiring.
All I can say is you'd be mad to miss out on seeing Mr Simpson, forget Busted and Fightstar, this material is mind blowing and the guy deserves the recognition and mainstream airplay he's getting.
You can catch Charlie on his UK Tour, 6 more dates: Norwich, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, London and Brighton: Please make the effort to go and see him, you won't be disappointed.