The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

King Charles

Following the release of his spectacular debut album, King Charles has gone from strength to strength. The royal character’s blend of infectious hooks and tropical melodies has held him in good stead, but there’s an air of expectation surrounding the follow up to such a successful first release. In the heat of anticipation, it’s simply a matter of whether he’ll be able to rise to the challenge of topping his emphatic first effort, or crumble under the pressure. Deep stuff for a Sunday.

The lone support for the night comes in the form of unique and abrasive twin-rock duo, Gallery Circus, who pack an intriguing punch of quirk and riffs. In an erratic display of math-rock tempo changes and ferocious instrumentation, the duo create a powerful, yet strange presence, as the sound they produce forms a likeness to Royal Blood, if they were fronted by Matt Bellamy and had been left on a drip of sherbet and red bull in the build up to performing. Although the occasional flash of wobbly timing plagues the finesse of their display, the explosive energy in their performance turns more than a few heads in the venue. This is reiterated by their drummer’s fluctuating stand up-sit down approach in his percussive style, as he basks in the spot light of his position on centre stage (rare for most drummers). Intelligent multi-tasking heavily contributes towards the enormous sound they concoct, as the guitar wielding half of the twins stabs at root notes whilst playing sweeping piano chords to coincide with his ambitious vocal display. Ultimately, their showmanship underpins their formidable presence and abstract methods, but until they capture the melodies and hooks of their superiors, they may struggle to surpass any expectations placed upon them. Nevertheless, this band is sure to light up the festival period this Summer with their relentless energy in their quest to make waves in 2015. Keep an eye out.

Gallery Circus

Gallery Circus 

It’s a Sunday night, and as King Charles emerges to a near capacity crowd, you can feel all the worries of the week ahead instantly dissolve once the elegant master of indie pop expertly stuns yet another crowd on the tour. Opening on his own with the rather beautiful, if not somewhat solemn ‘Carry Me Away’, the crowd respond in jubilation as he invites his band to signal the first offering from ‘Love Blood’ with ‘Bam Bam’ demonstrating one of many outstanding highlights from his remarkable debut album. In a display laden with rich harmonies, stunning instrumentation and infectious hooks, you struggle to unpick even the slightest imperfection during the set. However, once the brave task of showcasing new material begins, the result is intriguing. Don’t misinterpret these words; the previews of upcoming material explore a fresh tangent, as King Charles has traded his infectious indie pop anthems for a heightened maturity and depth in his song writing. The sounds of ambitiously guitar led alt-rock replace Love Blood’s quirky melodies and sing-along choruses, as it seems that he has decided to focus on creating a deeper sound, in which there are hints of atmospheric chord progressions, purposeful lyrics and the same pulsating rhythm underlining the uplifting sections of his material.

King Charles
King Charles 12

It’s a bold change in direction; certainly one which will divide opinions, but in all honesty, it would have showed little ambition if he had replicated the same successful formula from his debut once again. Inevitably, crowd favourites “Ivory Road” and “Lady Percy” carry the momentum of his first album’s brilliance like a speeding train, but previews of “Loose Change for the Boatman” and “Lady of the River” leave a highly pleasing impression of the changes ahead. Although the new material is arguably not as instantly captivating as the vibrant sounds of the past, these songs will leave more of an impact in the long run. Closing with a stunning rendition of “Love Lust”, King Charles and his band place the cherry on top of an exceptional display. Sonically joyous and near perfect, his sound personifies the warm Summer we so often crave at this time of year. It was a performance of pure class from start to finish from a singer songwriter who is set to deliver yet another exceptional record and dig his heels firmly into the mould of indie rock as we know it.

Set List
Carry Me Away (Solo)
Bam Bam
Mississippi Isabel
The Brightest Lights
Loose Change For The Boatman
Bright Thing
Coco Chitty
Ivory Road
Lady Percy
(Extended Intro)

Beating Hearts
Lady Of The River
Love Lust


Words by George Fullerton
Photos by Emma Courtney

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