Charlene Soraia is someone who I highly rate even though I have seen her play live 2 times. I was so impressed with her support slot with Alice Gold last August it therefore resulted me keeping tabs on her. Since then Soraia had released début album Moonchild in November, covered Wherever You Go for Twinings plus I saw her open up for Sweet Billy Pilgrim as part of this years HMV Next Big Thing at The Borderline. With Soraia riding high in the charts with The Calling’s Wherever You Will Go the Moonchild tour was then announced. This 10 date jaunt of the UK started off at Lancaster Library and ended with 2 nights at London’s The Enterprise. This was Charlene’s very 1st headline tour and it was no surprise that it was a sell out. A part of me thinks the tour sold out because people were curious because Soraia’s Wherever You Go was gaining plenty of exposure and it even peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart (also it as #1 in the Indie chart). I have fallen in love with her music and having seen her earlier on in February she is ever so witty. Unfortunately I missed out on a ticket for what is the 1st leg of the Moonchild tour. Attending the last night was a major priority even though it had sold out I didn’t give up until the very end. 29th February came and it looked likely I wouldn’t be attending but after sending an email to The Enterprise regarding returns did give me a little hope I would be there. Once at the pub I noticed that doors had been pushed back 30 minutes. Come 8pm I went upstairs and asked if there were any returns and the reply was that they could sell a few tickets. The support was provided by an artist I hadn’t heard of before and this being Dan Shears. What featured during the 6 song set was incredible. Dan’s vocals gave me shivers and they sounded slightly angelic. I will most definitely see him again in the future. It would be great to see Shears as support on the 2nd leg of the Moonchild tour. Dan may have been the lowly support act but I was left captivated and blown away at the same time.
London By Lamplight
The Devil’s Favourite Love Story
One Dry Eye In The House Of God
My Dear Oscar
In The Shadows Of Better Men
At 9.40 it was time for Charlene to take to the small stage. “That was a bit of a yeah we think we’re good, we might be good, we might not be. But I hope you are good. I’m Charlene and I’ve just been stood there coz I was standing in the backstage area which is a beautiful corridor with a crate and a step ladder, coz that’s how I roll. Tonight’s the last night of the Moonchild Tour sadly, but it’s also good because I’ve got Whisky so (a bottle then smashed) maybe I don’t have any Whisky. Did you enjoy Dan Shears? He’s been with me the entire time. Not all of my life just this tour. When I was in Birmingham I got given this little teddy bear and we thought maybe this bear had been raped. We’ve ended up making this little documentary about this little bear and I don’t know if he is from New York or if he’s Jewish. I forgot to bring him tonight sadly, to finish the documentary. I don’t know why I’m telling you that but it’s a really interesting thing I’ve done on this tour other than embarrassing myself with silly stories like that” Soraia then said to the audience. Charlene’s banter is simply classic. She has an incredible sense of humour and you cant help but laugh along. “This first song is called Lemonade and it’s kind of about my mates dad. But I’m not sure if my mates in here. So for tonight it’s about Alan Rickman or any other older man who has a sexy voice” Charlene went onto say before playing Lemonade which doesn’t appear on Moonchild. Soraia sails through this song effortlessly and it was extremely soft at the same time. This was the first time I had heard it performed live but I was captivated from beginning till end.
“So I played here last night as well. I had loads of people sat on the floor right in front, but I felt a bit sorry for them because have you seen the floor? I’ve been to some venues in my time and genuinely judge a venue by how sticky the floor is. But this floor isn’t sticky but these benches I tried to move one earlier and I’m not sure if they are actually glued to the floor. The next one is called Bike. It’s not about my friends dad or Alan Rickman. But if anyone knows Alan Rickman’s get my number and make it happen” Soraia said before getting stuck into the next song. Bike was superbly sung and Charlene’s vocals were really strong. The fact it was just her belting out this song made it even more outstanding. Also this song was rather smooth. “I’m going to play one called Rowing or Rowing. I’m not sure which. I wrote it and I was very sad at the time and then I was very angry and then I didn’t feel anything and now I just don’t know how I feel. But sometimes I call it Rowing (as in arguing), sometimes I call it Rowing (as in sailing). Tonight I don’t really mind which, but yeah I’ll just play it” Charlene then said to the intimate audience before playing Rowing. “I could do this all night. I trip out to this” Soraia said when holding a note on the guitar as someone was responding to a text message he had just received. Rowing. At first, this song started off at a slow pace and then got more steady when it progressed. Rowing was rather infectious and it was rather gentle/ subtle at the same time. “So I have an album called Moonchild and I’m a bit of a lunatic in the literal sense and probably in other senses but it hasn’t been diagnosed yet. Not officially. I’m quite obsessed by the moon and our solar system and the entire universe really. I find it quite amazing hence why the album’s called Moonchild. There’s a moon of Jupiter called iO. I thought this moon was made of ice coz iO ice, it’s got an I in it. Sounds a bit cold but actually it’s Ganymede. Technically this song should be called Postcards From Ganymede but that sounds like a strange disease that you might accidentally catch on a night out” Charlene said before launching into Postcards From iO. There was a folk vibe to the song which was delivered steadily. The chorus was very up tempo and the high pitched noises were fantastic. After it was then onto a song I had never heard live. Before the song Charlene said jokingly she thought the sound man was Santa Claus and the fact she is crap at remembering names.
“This is Wishing (You) Well with the You in brackets. So technically it’s Wishing Well” Soraia then said. Someone then said about chucking a penny with the song called Wishing Well. “Don’t chuck a penny in me though only if it’s a penny sweet. You know at Christmas you get those chocolate pennies. Or just a Lindt bunny. Just throw them at me. Lindt chocolate is incredible it’s better than Green & Blacks. I promise you” was the reply. For those who have seen Charlene live or if you follow her on Twitter you will know that she loves Lindt chocolate. It was then onto Wishing (You) Well. This song originally featured on the Postcards From iO EP plus it featured on Moonchild. Now I really liked this song. It was played at a steady pace, the lyrics gelled together perfectly plus there were high pitch noises. After a woman came up to Charlene and gave her a small Lindt chocolate which Soraia said she would save until the end of the show. With her organs in front of her it was then onto The Calling cover Wherever You Will Go. This beautiful ballad propelled Charlene into the mainstream market. Actually it peaked at #3. I love this song and Soraia marked it with her own stamp of originality. This song was delivered to perfection and is very different in tone compared to the other songs that featured on the night. “So does anybody know what this is?” Soraia said when holding up her Baritone guitar. “It’s a Baritone guitar you’re right. It’s a bit deeper than the other one, it’s a lot deeper. I saw this guitar when I was 8 and I thought you’re the one. And when I was about 20 I finally bought it and we have had a steady relationship for the past few years. It’s going well. It’s such a sexy beast. I just think it’s really hot. When we were up north I said that my guitar was sexy and a guy was like guitars aren’t sexy. And I was like yeah they are. Dan’s is quite sexy as well part of me want to steal it and make it my own” Charlene said before playing Animal on her 6 string Baritone guitar. Soraia said that this song was about being an Animal for someone and was her Drum and Bass number. The guitar chords where rather powerful and this song was delivered faultlessly. It was then onto another song on the Baritone and this being the brand spanking new Forgiven. Where as I could feel the sound resonating through my body during Animal, I found Forgiven to be rather smooth. This song had a beat and was delivered at a mid tempo pace. It sounded rather promising and I look forward to hearing the next full length by Soraia.
“Are we OK? We’re having a good time all of the time. That’s my motto I got it from Spinal Tap. There was many things I gonna to say to you on this stage but I completely forgotten now but have you noticed my little people I’ve drawn?” no one responded and Charlene replied with “No you haven’t noticed them. Have you not got eyes? That’s OK. I drew them. I draw little things and make weird videos of teddies that people give me. This song’s called Midsummer Moon In June. It’s a really happy song. It’s about what I want done with my body when I’m dead. Just in case I never get round to writing a will”. Midsummer Moon In June was delivered at a steady pace and was played on a mandolin. Soraia blitzed through this wonderful short song. “I draw lots of things and I’ve drawn all my merch. I usually have a man with a board who does it for me. Well I say usually this is still only my well the end of my 1st like headline tour, so it’s been nice not having to do it all myself. But tonight I’m doing it myself coz he’s not here. So this is my last song. Obviously in such a huge venue like this, when you’ve got a backstage room to run to after you do your last song people can do the encore thing but I don’t really have that here. So if you want to give me an encore you can and I could do this. That kiddy mentality if I can’t see you, you can’t see me and you know it kind of works. This has certainly been an incredible tour” Charlene said before rounding off this outstanding evening with the whimsical Daffodils. This song was superbly delivered and it was also gentle on the ear. After Soraria then covered her eyes and people then cheered for the encore. “If anyone’s on 25th April I’m playing the Union Chapel and I probably won’t be playing this song there coz I just don’t think it’s the right kind of venue. Coz it’s a little bit smutty. Feel free to laugh at this one. One day it will be an anthem. We’ll all be singing it in our heads. Thankyou very much for coming. Welcome to the encore and all that stuff” Charlene said before ending with the up tempo, quirky and hilarious Does She Fake Here Cum Face?
Postcards From iO
Wishing (You) Well
Wherever You Will Go
Midsummer Moon In June
Does She Fake Her Cum Face?
OVERALL: Charlene’s vocal range is extraordinary and everyone of the songs sung on the night were stunning. Even the new songs Animal and Forgiven sounded incredible. I look forward to the next leg of the Moonchild tour where Soraia will be backed by a band. Soraia has something special and the genre her music falls into is Alternative Folk. After having witnessed her perform as a support act, I was extremely lucky to have the chance to see her headline. The album Moonchild is a right belter and if you thought it would follow the same style of Wherever You Will Go you couldn’t be more wrong. I look forward to attending the 2nd leg of the Moonchild tour because it will truly be epic as Soraia will be backed by a band which would give each song that extra something. I hope this doesn’t put an end to her extremely witty banter.
Finally regarding Dan Shears I was blown away by the set he performed. The vocals were tremendous. I really hope he supports Charlene in April as the thought of him playing at the Union Chapel excites me.