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’.

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