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King Charles @ The Fleece, Bristol.

‘You’re the wax in my moustache…’
So, I was away in Bristol over the weekend – more on that later – the reason for the trip was initially to see King Charles play at The Fleece. Mainly we were going to see the music as we’d missed previous chances but it was also a great excuse to get away.

Let me begin by singing The Fleece’s praises, it’s a great venue, kind of dark with no barriers at the stage but with a totally laid back atmosphere (rather than feeling like someone’s going to start a fight). It was a sold out gig so it was pretty full but there was plenty of room to browse the merch stand and have a dance – perfect for when Bam Bam! came on. Maybe a slight bummer was getting ID’d on the door because it was an over-16 gig, quite something considering I’m 24 this year. The very best thing about The Fleece though – which either shows my age or that I’m far older than my years – was that I could buy a bottle of water and keep the bottle with the lid (the bottle was even glass), AMAZING. I could also have beer in a bottle, far more elegant in a pint, and more tasty just because it was Desperados (my current favourite).

The first support act of the night was Giovanna, who I read in a review from KC’s Portsmouth performance has a close relationship to the Man Himself (and is the sister of Mumford & Son’s Country Winston!). I thought she started off quite well and gave off a bit of a Florence-y kind of vibe, then she turned kind of a weird corner. She got a little screechy and maybe it was just me but she ended up not really being my cup of tea – I’m sure with a bit of practice though she could follow through with the set she started with.

King Charles’ second support were a band I had pretty high hopes for, Story Books. Sadly I was a bit disappointed again, I thought they were pretty similar to Bombay Bicycle Club, a band that I should like but just can’t get on with, and that’s kind of how I felt about these guys. I appreciated them for what they were but I thought they sounded much better on recordings I’d heard than they did live which was a bit of a minus point for me and their on-stage banter was a little odd, although if you have peek at their Twitter, it kind of makes a bit more sense. They didn’t really get me pumped to see the act I’d actually come for and I wasn’t sure what to expect next.

I definitely ended up forgetting about my initial hesitation though because boy oh boy does King Charles know how to put on a show. If you hadn’t heard, this gig was 13th on his 30 Shows in 30 Days Tour but he had as much energy as if he was doing it from fresh rather than being halfway through.

What I love about seeing smaller acts is that they’ll play all your favourite songs and he didn’t let me down. From an amazing breakdown of ‘Brightest Lights’ to ‘Ivory Road’, he might have even made me like ‘Polar Bear’, I had such a fun night. He’s a little heavier live than on his album, but I just think that added to the atmosphere and was a really pleasant surprise.

I’m now forever baffled by those sitting with their phones (round the wrong way) videoing the whole gig, a few snaps are fair enough, your Samsung Note is not. Are you even watching the real thing?

Finishing with a cover of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ with his own lyrics, he really did just kill the whole thing and I’m really looking forward to future releases and to seeing him again.

Favourite songs of the night: ‘Lady Percy’ for the intro and ‘Bam Bam’ for the dancing.

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