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Music |

Review: Charlotte Church

Sunday 30 September 2012

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Words Spindle

Water Rats, Kings Cross, Monday 24 September

Charlotte’s had saint and sinner scenarios in the past like an episode of Hollyoaks Later. As a young cherub she was tinned up as ‘the voice of an angel’ to the approval of countryside mums with their Quality Street. The tabloids then associated her relationship with the odd cigarette? a cauldron ingredient to an imaginary World War 3. If this is regarded as rebellion, then I might have to start signing off my features with an invisible signature. But enough of the crazy chick day; Charlotte is back in an intriguing secretive way, encouraging those brave enough to put any preconceptions in the dustbin and to Chinese whisper about her new sound…

In King’s Cross Water Rats, a venue renowned for moody lit gigs with young professionals enjoying their retro hits of grunge, Charlotte was about to show the locals how her sound was going to marry into this world. Call it a ‘meeting the in laws’ EP.

The singer shyly came on stage to a packed and polite crowd. In a dusty white dress ,fitting for a waltzing period drama with Keira Knightley, the look was immediately angelic but with a refreshing punch of punk: a look that Vogue would bunch ‘grunge gospel’ together into a bouquet. The aesthetic was there for something special.

The songs had an artful throwback to 90’s offbeat rock, with sensual tints of Silverchair, but then the injection of ethereal indie pop that the likes of Florence and her monstrous machine thunders across the radios. A sound where delicacy and intricacy dance together, the songs are subtle, allowing room for Charlotte’s piercingly perfect vocals to cast a spell on the crowd. Gone are the crazy chick days of booze, with spoonfuls of honey being her mid song treat on stage.

I’m glad I left my preconceptions outside, as this was a gig that Skunk Anansie would have been proud of.

Words: Charles Matthews