Charlie Simpson @ Banquet Records 15th August 2011

Charlie Simpson is a member of the Alternative Rock Band Fightstar. That band went on hiatus which resulted in the other members of the band focussing on seperate projects. The route Charlie went down was so different compared to the style of music Fightstar and Busted (Charlie’s first band) produced. He chose to go down the Folk path and this then resulted in Pledgers Only EP When We Were Lions which was released 25th December 2010 and then album Young Pilgrim which was released on this very day. There had been some talk that what would happen to the release date of Young Pilgrim. This being down to the PIAS fire which resulted in every single copy being lost. Still they went on to repress them and this is one incredible LP.

I arrived outside Banquet Records at 2.30pm which is early but I had expected people to already be queuing up. The factor for this was the fact the kids had broken up but to my surprise there was no one on the steps of Banquet Records. Fast forward to 6pm and the excitement was rising. Charlie was in the store just soundchecking. Simpson was to perform on a stage behind the counter. That is the second time that has happened and maybe it could be down to letting people at the back see something. “Please welcome my good friend Nick Warpole to the stage” Simpson said to the audience before launching into the current single Parachutes. This song was absolutely entrancing and really infectious as well. The set may of been short and sweet but it was acoustic music at its best. Down Down Down was next and you can pick up on the folkness. The harmonies were brilliant and Simpson’s vocals were extremely powerful. This was the first solo single by Charlie and when I saw the video for the first time I was slightly dubious. But as I found out you can’t judge someones career on the basis of one song. “Thankyou, so we’re going to play one more song for you guys” Charlie said before ending the set with Farmer & His Gun (minus harmonica). This song was very upbeat and the vocals were sublime.


Down Down Down
Farmer & His Gun

OVERALL: This was yet again another amazing instore put on by Banquet Records. As for Charlie Simpson he was fantastic. His new direction is amazing it would be interesting to see if he does go back to Fightstar. When Busted split up this is the route I would have expected Simpson to take. Charlie is a gifted singer/ songwriter and the album Young Pilgrim is brilliant.


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