King Charles took the stage amid a cacophony of cheers, prompted a chorus of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire”, and settled in to begin his show. And what a show it was.
Touring his second album, Gamble for a Rose, King Charles was on top form at the Brudenell. With a varied set taking in songs both old and new, he engaged the audience and created an atmosphere that was at once exciting and relaxed, letting his deep, rich vocals do the talking. And in such a small venue, those vocals sounded pretty magical.
Throughout the evening, King Charles ranged from the Mumford and Sons-esque chirpy twanging he became famous for, to some newer, heavier, rockier riffs – proving he can take on both genres with panache. One of the highlights of the set was a moving rendition of his album’s title track, which he played almost solo, relying only on a subtle backing contribution from his band. Here, he showed off his classical training as a singer, paired exquisitely with his slick guitar skills to create an amazing hush in an audience that was clearly as invested in his music as he was.
His three-song encore was another high point of the night; the crowd were eagerly clapping, cheering, and calling his name, desperate to hear more. Finishing with ‘Lady Percy’, from his debut album LoveBlood (2012) left the night – and the audience – at a peak; its chirpy, cheerful refrain left everyone elated, bringing a summery festival vibe to a cold, dark February evening.
A great night with an even better artist; I’m excited to see what’s next.