Over the past 20 years, British singing legend Charlie Landsborough has seen his career go from strength to strength, hit to hit, award to award. He has now sold more than one million albums, but he took the scenic route to success.
Touring the UK and Ireland since the 60s, Wales-born Charlie’s love of music sustained him and encouraged him to persevere in the hope of achieving the success that he now has.
Music has always been in Charlie’s family and he played pubs and clubs long before making it big. After working as a teacher for many years, his big break came in 1995 in the form of an appearance on RTE’s Kenny Live Show, performing his song ‘What Colour is the Wind’, which tells the story of a young blind child’s attempts to envision the world. This was the song that captured the imagination of the public.
“A good friend of mine living in the Midlands said he’d love it if I got my break in Ireland and that’s what happened. I’d loved Ireland before that happened, but I’ve even more reason to love them now.”
Charlie has influenced many singers and songwriters over the past numerous decades, and cites The Beatles, Bob Dylan and many others among his own influences. “It is good to be influenced and impressed by these people but the most important thing is to strive for one’s own individuality. It is also important to persevere. Elvis was rejected, the Beatles were rejected and it goes to show what perseverance can do.”
Charlie has been lauded for his versatility and songwriting ability, something which has seen him win awards across many music genres. What is enduring about his music is that his songs are inspired by everyday events. “I’m inspired by situations I see in other people’s lives and odd phrases that people say.”
He describes one incident in particular which struck him. “A friend of mine said his father came in one day and took his hand and raised it in the air. He told his son that this is the most friends you’ll ever have in your life. He said you’ll know lots of people who call themselves your friend but when you hit hard times you’ll be lucky you can count on many. On hearing this story, I kept this in my head for ages until I wrote a song about it.”
Despite his prolific songwriting, it is not always easy. “There is no formula. It can be chaotic at times but I guess creativity is like that.”
Charlie now tours the UK and Ireland twice a year. He has performed at major concert halls and theatres including the London Palladium, Labatts Apollo, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Belfast Opera House, Belfast Waterfront and Dublin’s National Concert Hall.
His concert in the Lough Rea Hotel in Loughrea, Co. Galway tonight, Wednesday 11 January, is part of a nationwide tour.
“It’s like a family on tour when we go on the road. We are all good friends in the band and we are doing the thing we love. I’ve met some great people through music from all walks of life. It’s a joy to go back on the road.”
His wife goes on all the tours with him and his son drives him. “It is lovely to have them there with me,” he says.
“I used to be all over Ireland before I got my break and it’s a special place for me to come to.”
Charlie has won just about every award possible in the UK country scene and are too numerous to mention individually but Charlie has won Best Songwriter, Best Song, Best Male Vocalist, Best Album and International Country Album of the Year. He also received a nomination as Best Global Country Artist in the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville. Many of his albums have topped the country charts as well as getting into the British pop charts. His talent goes across many genres, something which remains a big appeal to audiences.
Charlie’s talent and recognition have also led to many other notable events, one being invited to close Ireland’s Special Olympics with his own song Special. He was also George Hamilton IV’s guest for three nights at the Nashville country music concert The Grand Ole Opry.
For his show in the Lough Rea Hotel tonight, the audience will hear all the songs Charlie is known for along with some older songs and up tempo stuff. “I’ll also be telling some stories and some jokes along the way and people will get to hear a great band.”
Charlie Landsborough comes to the Lough Rea Hotel, Old Galway Road, Loughrea tonight, Wednesday 11 January, at 8pm. Tickets can be booked on 091-880088, see www.loughreahotelandspa.com for more details.
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