REVIEW & INTERVIEW: KING CHARLES

It is a mistake that I make every time. A mistake indeed that I should think the 99% of us would make with the ‘famous’ or indeed the semi-known. I largely expect musicians to give me the time of day in an interview. And yet again last week I was given a bravado of vanity oozing out of King Charles’s hand made shirts (he does get them made… obviously –I’m told this with a snotty look which could only come from a public school boy). I walked in to the Brudenell Social Club on time, a little early in fact so I got to sit back and watch sound check. I have been a fan of King Charles for about two years now, since a friend in first year whipped out a video of him skateboarding past Harrods on Youtube. My expectations were high. Of course someone who professes to love quite so much is going to be thoroughly interesting and give a lot to interview. Really? Not quite.

I met a completely uninterested arrogant demi-star. Head in hands, yawning or sat slumped eyes wide. He didn’t strike me as quite ‘with it’. Indeed, upon being asked the question ‘do you prefer gigs or festivals?’ I was given the reply ‘…hmmm figs’ and not in a funny way… in a I don’t quite know what to do with that.. way. It was only when I questioned his apparent love for Bob Dylan that I realised… is that what he was doing? Was he pulling a Bob Dylan? And if so is that ok to a) imitate your idol, and b) even do that in the 21st century when you’re not promoting a movement?? There is much to be said for the lack of protests songs in today’s music when so many young people are taking to the streets for what they believe in. It’s funny, because I look back at those old Dylan interviews (youtube ‘Bob Dylan interview with Time Magazine’ – a particular favourite of mine, where a young Dylan rinses the interviewer) and they make me chortle at the farce, on Dylans side for having the balls to be quite so offensive. However, interviewing King Charles I was on the receiving end of this charade. And it ruined it. I was unable in his gig to detach myself from his attitude and just hear the music which I have enjoyed so much for a while now. Dylan was an icon, his music affected masses of people as a musical voice of the Civil Rights Movement, and so is it for this reason I’m allowing him to get away with his… mockery? Charles… your music is good, but it isn’t that great, and its not exactly profound in the same way as Dylan, despite your ‘vision for unity in a generation’.

What further irritated me was watching people fall for this bravado. ‘I love your moustache!!’, ‘I love you!!’, ‘I love your hair!!’, and it only encouraged him. Jumping around the stage in some theatrical pirouette his hair would fly out of its strategically loose bun and he would swing it around to the delight of the audience. I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrows and refuse to sing a long to the songs I knew so well. Writing this, I question why I actually had such a problem with his behaviour, or indeed why it came as such a shock to me. I think, quite honestly, it was because of his previous proclamations of love and lust through his music… obviously you would expect that person to be as loving in character. Interviewing Tribes with Emily Ames last week, I had no expectations of them giving us much time, and indeed the wide eyed lead singer didn’t give much, but the drummer was a delight to talk to! So I ask, should the character in the music always be reflected in the character of the musician?

The gig was ok. I was expecting a little more folk and a little less rock. KC was in his usual attire, and both bass and keys (also the manager) imitating this look donning their cravats. The drummer however looked a little out of place in a baseball cap against the backdrop of what I can only assume was the King Charles coat of arms. ‘Sway with me, sway with me’ he whispered in to the mic fairly early on and was largely ignored by the chattering audience. Clearly the crowd was there for his big numbers of Love Lust and We Didn’t Start the Fire. His new single Bam Bam was… catchy sure. But didn’t have that essence of Charles that I had grown to love over the last two years. Dare I say, a little more pop than his proclaimed ‘glam folk’.

See what King Charles had to say for himself when I interviewed him at the Brudenell Social Club.

KC :Hello… Im King Charles. And your reading Just Another.. Magazine.Welcome.

KW: Can you tell us a little about your music?

KC :Glam Folk

KW :Your currently on tour how are you finding it?

KC : Very good. Very Good. Loving it loving  it loving it. It’s the bomb.

KW: Best place so far?

KC: Ummm…. The road. On the road is always the bets place. I’m down with it all.

KW :How does it compare with touring with Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale?

KC : Right so Mumford was in America… That was.. That’s was loads and loads of people.

KW: Quite hectic?

KC Yea it was ridiculous. It was real life. It was like.. This is real life.  Most ofthe time I was like… yeaaah come on.. and then some of the time I was like…haaa(high pitched squeel) aaaaggh… Um Im getting flustered. And Noah and the Wales was when I was first starting out. This is my first UK headline tour.

KW: So when your’e touring with another band do you see it as you and them or a collaboration of artists?

KC: No… I think it’s a collaboration of people… Its like.. yea. Living. I was onstage with the Mumfords so there was a collaboration there. And sometimes you do find that. You do have artistic relationships.

KW: So you’re a big Bob Dylan fan?

KC: Yes that’s right.

KW: He had a very political outlook, and that obviously was portrayed through his music. Do you have any political aspirations and do you understand how your music could influence a generation.

KC: That’s exactly what I want to do. That is what turned me on to Bob Dylan. I wasn’t like sounds… or er. It was just a vision for unity in a generation. I want to have a really side by side movement with everyone around me. I want to be with everyone rather than a moment here and a moment there.

KW: I’ve been told that you have a strong religious and spiritual side?

KC: What?? Who told you that?

KW: Is that not right?

KC: Hmmm I have a strong belief that we need to find out purpose.

KW: So you certainly have a spiritual side then?

KC: Well yea… theres a lot of religious arguments there. We need to work our where our glory lies.

KW: Well considering both political and spiritual influences, do you have any thoughts on the protests outside St Pauls at the moment?

KC: Yes. I think a) it’s a disgrace that they closed St Pauls. I think its indicative of people just making a point that they want to make a point and not the society that is built around them, for them isn’t to there taste. You could say that’s what lifes about. Good taste. The protests are people saying whatever they want to say.

KW: So theres a strong theme of loves and lusts in your writing. Was there a particular event that lead you to base your words around love?

KC: Yah, being born.

KW: Do your find it easy to articulate your loves through your music and do you feelexposed or do you not mind being exposed?

KC: Naaaahhh that’s what, that’s what I wanna do. I wanna like.. all I really care about all I want to think about, sing about is navigating the idea of what love is  and all the different kinds of loves and how your glorify that idea of love because I think whats where our purpose lies. And I think it could definitely strip you quite bare.

KW: I have been told by someone not to mention your skiing accident but after reading about it on your blog I was wondering if you tell people these things to give yourself greater strength, to allow your audience in further?

KC: I think that’s a good way of putting it.. to allow my audience in further. But I learnt such an extraordinary catalogue of lessons from having that accident that im now happier to have ahd the accident. Its so closely bound with love. I wrote a song about it. But I didn’t… Its kind of, its like painfully real. Singing it is just like… agony. I bruised this part of my brain when I had the accident and it was the emotional bit that I smashed up so I’d cry like the whole time. And id be singing this song in like.. tears, talking about my family. Um… What was it called?? Ummm… I cant remember what it was called. (long pause) But its all about my family. Its all about my family. And what an amazing experience.

KW: On a lighter note, on Youtube theres several videos of you being filmed in different modes of transport, be it a skateboard, a black cab or a horse drawn carriadge. Is this intentional? Is it metaphorical of you moving forward??

KC: YAH! I like that. I like that… moving forward.

KW: Im giving your answers there.

KC: Yeah yeah yeah I like being on the move. (yawn) I like being close to the ground. Im a people person.

KW: So you have a strong affinity with England?

KC: Yes!

KW: Can you sum up England in three words?

KC:  I’m going to take three words from Rupert Brooke ‘a richer dust concealed’.

KW: Other than England, what is your favourite country and why?

KC :America… America.

KW: Just all of it?

KC: Yah! The U.S.A …The U.S.A! The USA Is my favourite country. Its business time. No messing around. No nonsense. Do or die.

KW: Is there anywhere your desperate to visit but haven’t yet?

KC: Yep…(laughs)…yahh… hmm spose so. Cant think of anywhere right now though.

KW: Do you have a stylist?

KC: I can dress myself. I do have people that help assembling things and stuff for shoots.

KW: So your capable of going shopping and buying your own shirts.

KC: (Scoffs) I don’t buy my own shirts. I have them made.

KW: Gigs or Festivals?

KC: hmmm figs…

KW: Right…

                  So what’s coming up for you in the near future?

KC: I’m Ha… Going skiing again.

KW: What one item would you grab from your burning building?

KC: Mmmm. My mother.

KW: Ok.. Of all the animals mentioned in Ivory Road, which would you most like to be?

KC: Oooo… errm. I would like to be. Ivory Road? (Yawns) I talk about loads of animals. I think a lion.

KC: I enjoyed your questions.

KW: Whats the standard questions that you usual get?

KC: How longs your hair?

KW: Haha.. Yea a friend wanted me to ask if it held lots of little secrets.

KC: (laughs)

 

Words and Images: Kate Woods

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