CHARLIE LEAVY Leeds-via-Hook Norton singer Charlie Leavy is currently studying for her A-levels but is already close to clocking up 100 gigs, and claims to have written as many songs.
“Live”, it’s just her, an acoustic guitar and heart full of soul (see June & November 2014 for her gig reviews), but these recording are perhaps a better indicator of what’s she’s capable of, from the jazzy, very slightly funky soul-pop of `The Way Life Is’, to the sweet and simple unrequited love note that is `Tongue Tied’, both clear-eyed and uncomplicated songs that are polished but not so much they lose their inner naivety; the more straightforward acoustic `Falter Baby’ is over-egged by contrast, but best of the lot here is the lush, synthy `Summer Day Runaway’, again soulful but simple and poppy; the only thing between it and hit status is a decent publicist.
There’s obviously a strong Alecia Keys influence going on in Charlie’s music, and it’s hardly making a break for rock and roll’s wildest hinterlands, but not every musician wants to tear up the rule book and alienate the entire human race like Scott Walker, and for those who prefer safer ground, Charlie Leavy’s a decent outside bet for next local breakout artist.
Nightshift reviews:, “The Best Damn Ride”
Where: Oxford Jericho Tavern
When: October 3rd
Line-up: PEERLESS PIRATES / VIENNA DITTO / THE OTHER DRAMAS / CHARLIE LEAVY
Reviewer: Dale Kattack
“Charlie Leavy, from Hook Norton via Leeds, falls neatly into the confessional-girl-with-guitar bracket, displaying the best and worst of that particular niche. Occasionally she slips into melisma and wailing over ragged acoustic strumming, but when she hits the right tone, as on `Patchworks’, she shows she’s got something worth investigating, a sweet, almost folky voice that she pushes just to its limits and no further, and a strong sense of melody. We’d like to hear more of her natural Yorkshire accent in her singing but with a more polished sound on her recent `The Best Damn Ride’, there’s undoubtedly better things ahead for her than opening a four-band bill.”
Where: Oxford Art Bar
When: May 8th
Line-up: ROBOT SWANS / OP21 / REUBEN’S ROCKET / CHARLIE LEAVY
Reviewer: Art Lagun
“True to form the first act tonight proves to be the most interesting. Charlie Leavy makes a big impact with just her voice and an acoustic guitar, sounding more California than her native Hook Norton. Relentlessly upbeat, one great song follows another, catchy tunes with straightforward yet personal lyrics like the poignant ‘Tongue Tied’. Only seventeen, she writes and performs with frank simplicity that comes as a breath of vitalising air, her take on Pixie Lott’s ‘Mama Do’ trouncing the original.”