Last year when I was living in a flat down a mews in Maida Vale, my flatmate and I would often hear music through the walls at odd times of the day and night. We used to joke that we lived next door to a famous band – practising the drums at 2am and spending days on end playing Bach’s cello suite no.1 was not conducive to having a normal day job.
We got to know our neighbour, Charlie, as he sat outside in the mews sunbathing in his boxers that summer. I was sure I recognised him from somewhere, with his big dark moustache and dreadlocks. Turns out his band, King Charles, is pretty well known, and I recognised him because I saw him supporting Mumford & Sons at the Scala in 2009. They’ve been featured a couple of times in the Guardian and toured with Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale back in 2007 when they first started out.
Charles in the flesh is lovely, if rather eccentric – and very, very mellow – and it was highly enjoyable hearing him tunefully singing in the shower of an afternoon (he seemed to have Black Eyed Peas, Just Can’t Get Enough, stuck in his head quite a lot last summer, in case you’re interested). He recently released his new EP Bam Bam in October 2011, and his reggae/folk/pop/electro tunes are definitely worth a listen.