LOCAL INTERVIEW: Charlie Dancer | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With Evolution Emerging looming, most bands and artists involved will be feeling the pressure in the run up. The same can’t really be said for Charlie Dancer; at least he doesn’t seem to show it. “I’m streaming the EP in about an hour’s time”, he says with the utmost confidence as I chat with him about his debut release, Oh My. “I’ve been sitting on it for a while; I started recording it back in November so it’s nice to finally get it going.”

Oh My includes three earthy, autumnal-indie tracks which feature nicely rounded melodies wound around thoughtful and carefully concocted lyrical themes. “It’s quite folksy in a way, but it’s not really the sound I’m trying to go for.” Charlie explains. “I just released those songs first because they’re the most stripped back and progressive in some ways – they’re kind of like a taste of the sound that’s to come. Skin for example, the opener of the EP, that’s a very stripped back, minimal song but I suppose it’s an example of the progression of my sound.”

After starting as a solo artist, Charlie accumulated other members to form a band, although things didn’t quite work out how he expected. “I started playing with a bassist and drummer about a year ago. That band essentially bailed on me.” Not one to be defeatist, he began putting the tracks down alone with the help of Chris McManus at Blank Studios. “I write music with a band in mind but I had to rearrange my style a bit and write some more songs suited to a solo setting.” Now he’s back in a live band setting and things are looking more collective for future releases: “The stuff I will be putting out after this will be a lot more driven and band based.”

Oh My includes three earthy, autumnal-indie tracks

Charlie’s music has an honest, modest quality to it, but he wasn’t always keen on the idea of keeping things simple. “When I was a bit younger I’d just say ‘it’s not pop music’, I was a daft teenager thinking that pop was like a bad word. My influences range a little wider now; Little Comets have been quite a big influence but also 80s stuff like Tears For Fears.”

Hard-work and persistence is something that every self-managing artist needs to have in order to succeed in the increasingly fickle music business, but Charlie has it all covered. From his releases to his gigs, he’s very much in charge and things are running smoothly. After starting up promotion company Beyond The Wall with a friend at the end of 2014, he has balanced putting on gigs for other local acts with his own musical endeavours. Through it he has been able to make some interesting connections, citing kinships with the likes of Shades, Immy Williams and Coquin Migale. His affiliation with other local artists is something Charlie feels strongly about within the context of North East music scene and its development. Most of the acts he lists as inspirations are billed alongside him at Evolution Emerging, where he has managed to bag a headline slot at The Cluny 2. “I’m very excited, it’s an absolute honour. I’ve been going for the past five years and have always thoroughly enjoyed it, so it’s nice to be on the other side of the monitors this time round.”

Oh My is launched on Friday 1st May at Newcastle’s Mining Institute. Charlie also plays The Cluny 2 stage at Evolution Emerging on Saturday 23rd and The Keys, Middlesbrough on Tuesday 26th May.

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