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When asked to come and watch Charlie Simpson’s opening night I was skeptical. His previous bands Busted and Fightstar, however much talent they contained, always had a manufactured and synthetic quality including an occasionally miss-mash of genre and theme.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when the music started and it actually sounded like a live band should. Tight vocals and skilled musicians made this a great opening start to their tour. Following a Boyce Avenue vibe Charlie’s vocals are similar to Alejandro Manzano with the rough rock styling. It’s genre has a slight country air not forgetting to mention the attire of the band which seemed to follow suit with neckerchiefs and waistcoats. Unlike his involvement with Fightstar and it’s conflicting image or hardcore, rock, pop and Prodigy styled filming, which had both skilled and flaky moments, Simpson’s new style had some catchy melodies which got the crown singing along in two part harmonies and clapping along.

During the gig he coverd his favorite song, (I just) Died in Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew, which was well orchestrated and had Simpson’s new style of slight country-rock. There are a few “wah oh waa” moments which do take me back to his younger years but other then that (and it’s probably the pure nostalgia that I relate to that) it was a great unique sound to which made it thoroughly enjoyable. All-in-all a great small crowd gig!

Words: Alex Topham
Photo: Laura Palmer