This should have been done many moons ago but such is blog. The fact is King Charles played a gig in Exeter a few weeks ago and it was one of the most fun gigs I have ever been to.
Last time I saw this guy play he was engulfed in smoke, light and the screams of girls standing on top of a drum kit at a festival. I was impressed.
This time around in the more modest setting of Exeter’s Cavern Club, things were a bit different. Gone were the pyrotechnics, but this just made the pure showmanship and stage presence of Charles himself shine through all the more. Despite the extraordinary hair, the stunning guitars and the outlandish arm gestures the guy is irresistibly authentic. Earlier that night I had seen him longboarding through the deserted streets of Exeter which was strangely satisfying.
The set itself was so good, there is no getting away from the fact that King Charles can write an excellent melody and deliver it with a ton of power. Interspersed with a fair bit of audience chatter and finishing with his own reinvention of We Didn’t Start the Fire Charles had the audience round his little finger. What I like about King Charles is that the music is catchy without being banal, I found myself singing along to unknown songs I had only ever heard once before 2 years ago when he was straddling a cymbal.
Amid the images of polar bears, bicycles and 19th century courtship rituals the crowd spun away from the stage and it wasn’t long before the massive queue formed to buy shirts and records and get it signed by the man himself. In a strange reversal of the usual ideas about musicians it is refreshing to see a guy back himself as much as King Charles does. There are lot of bands and artists who come across like they could be just another person at the gig and go for the understated, easy going approach.
King Charles is a million miles from that and delivers a fantastic show because of it.