Charlie Dore will be doing some two-timing this spring when she alternates between two different musical partners, her long-time school friend and collaborator, the multi-instrumental Julian Littman, and the virtuoso double bass player Gareth Huw Davies.
They will be sharing legendary singer-songwriter Charlie’s double award-winning album Dark Matter with a series of a multi-instrumental evenings of ‘intriguingly other’ eclectic folk, bursting with earworms and crunchy lyrics. They’ll dip into favourites from Charlie’s past albums as well as sharing stories and original acoustic versions of hits she has written for others, including George Harrison and Jimmy Nail. Charlie has written platinum selling hits for other artists but she still keeps the best songs for herself. And there’s always a possibility of a new angle on her own song, ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’, still a national radio favourite.
Julian, who’s ‘other band’ is Steeleye Span, has worked with Charlie since they were 16 years old. They’ve written hundreds of songs together and co-produced eight of Charlie’s albums. Charlie says “After all this time there’s definitely a shorthand between us and although both of us work with other people all the time, we enjoy being able to easily pick up where we left off. We like to mix things up a bit though, so often we’ll re-arrange songs to keep them fresh – and as I’ve been making a new album roughly every couple of years for the past 12 years or so there are lots of songs that feel new – because actually they are new! We both swap instruments all the time during lives shows, so there’s never been a point where it has felt like we’re doing the same show – it changes every night.”
With Gareth Huw Davies it’ll be a very different show, but as Charlie explains, “he’s a multi-instrumentalist too, but with more emphasis on bowed instruments and piano, so working with him as a duo gives us both the chance to experiment with arrangements. I’m really looking forward to it enormously!” Charlie has worked with Gareth since he guested with her band at the Wexford Festival in 2005. Since then, in between playing with everyone from Chrissie Hynde to Sir Willard White, Gareth has contributed his five string double-bass playing and singing to many of Charlie’s larger gigs, including Celtic Connections, Edinburgh and FolkEast festivals. Charlie’s latest album, the double award-winning Dark Matter features Gareth on most tracks and once she discovered his other considerable talents on piano, cello and vocals she made a mental note to experiment with some new arrangements in a live context. Charlie says “It’s been very inspiring to take songs I’m used to playing one way, turn them upside down and start from the bass end, basically from the bottom up. And with a five-string bass, that’s one big bottom!”
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Artist’s website: charliedore.com for ticket details
Live album taster:
March 14th Olympic Sessions, London with Julian Littman
March 17th Old Cinema Launderette, Durham with Gareth Huw-Davies
March 18th Barnoldswick Music & Arts with Gareth Huw-Davies
March 23rd St Mary’s Bottesford, Leics with Gareth Huw-Davies