With the Internet (well the Internet according to my twitter feed) appearing to fall crazy in love with Charlotte OC’s latest video, I thought it’d be a good time to post more memories from gigs gone by.
I saw Charlotte OC at the tail end of August as I was preparing to head out West. It was my last chance to enjoy Gold Dust so regardless of the line-up I was gonna be there. The headline act for the evening was Tigger Da Author. Second on the billing was Charlotte OC. The place was packed. Wall to wall heaving. I’ve been going to Gold Dust sporadically for about 4 years and only on a few special occasions had I experienced it so rammed. A whole lot of people were expecting something special.
However, as with all great stories, there is a twist. Tigger Da Author pulled out last minute due to illness and because of that I will never know whether it was packed for him, packed for her, or a bit of both!
I’ve often (well not often, once or twice at the time) played out the different scenarios as to whether Hoxton Square Bar would have been packed regardless of Tigger Da Author’s billing. He had managed to cultivate quite a significant cult following by the time of the show. Back in August 2014, Charlotte OC was doing pretty well too, however she didn’t seem to have the same buzz about her (once again, based on the world according to my twitter feed). Various conversations I had with strangers on the night suggest a significant portion were there for Tigger…
…I also prefer the “it was packed for Tigger Da Author” line of thought because it makes for a more triumphant story. You see, Charlotte OC smashed it. She put on an absolutely great performance, one that was captivating and exciting. I prefer the story of an epic night in which she won every ear in the room with a stunning performance. It’s more fun than the mildly interesting story about her delivering on expectations and me being the only person their unfamiliar with her music.
By the end of the night she had the entire crowd in the palm of her hand. People were whispering, talking to each other in surprise at the gem they had uncovered. There was a really nice electricity as people grew in to her music. I remember she had this presence about her, like she demanded to be listened to while effortlessly commanding proceedings from the small Hoxton Square stage.
It was one of those nights you leave thinking, “f**k, where has this music been my whole life”, and tell everyone you know (but then forget to download the album/EP!). It was one of those nights which reminded why I love the music scene in London so much. It’s full of treasures and surprises, brimming with insanely talented musicians filling backrooms and hidden halls.
It was also the night I met Fiona Bevan. She looked pretty exhausted as I approached her with my phone in hand. I could sense she was literally about to snap as I tapped her on the shoulder. With the speed of a ninja I shoved my phone in her face and said “is this you?” while pointing to her picture on my phone to see if it was in fact the woman I had been listening to all week. Turns out a lot of people were asking her about her hair that night, which I guess must be pretty annoying. The initial 5 second interaction still cracks me up to this day. I then proceeded to talk her ear off about the night she sung some songs with Ayanna Witter-Johnson (that was another great show). She was an absolute sweetheart because she smiled and listened… and I can talk!.
There you have it, my memories from a Charlotte OC gig. I like to think it was one of those breakthrough performances, in reality it was probably just business as usual for the singer from Blackburn who seems to be going from strength to strength to super-strength (once again, according to my twitter feed). She is definitely one I am rooting for to do well because anyone who can win over that many people so quickly deserves to be on the new year’s honours list… or at least one gold selling album!