Wonderful to sing my own songs

editorial image

It’s all well and good singing someone else’s songs, but to be able to write and perform your own songs and have them appreciated by the audience is what it’s really about.

And that’s exactly what country and folk singer-songwriter Charlie Landsborough gets to do every night of his tour, which comes to The Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering on Sunday, March 25.

Charlie, 70, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to do your own songs. When I was first writing a lot of the songs I do on the tour, I was playing small pubs and no one wanted to hear them then so it’s wonderful now to get to perform your own songs every night and have people enjoy them.

“All I ever wanted to do was sing, I’m not much of a showbiz person but I have always loved music.

“For a long time I was getting nowhere as a singer, so I started writing and now it is such a big part of me, it’s the ultimate drug.

“When people write to you and say that one of your songs touched them and they appreciated it, it’s lovely.”

Music was in Charlie’s blood from a very young age.

He said: “I was the youngest of 11 children, my dad was a ballad singer and my mum was always singing too.

“My older brothers were all sailors and brought the first guitars back from their travels and I grew up listening to the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles, but I also loved the old crooners too.

“I think they are all there in my musical make up.”

But despite the fact that this year marks the release of Charlie’s 25th album, he never thought he would make it as far as he has.

He said: “I made a little tape of 11 of my own songs and my wife thought I was stupid, but you have to take a chance.

“I have received many a rejection over the years, but then people bigger than me have also been rejected at some point in their careers and you have just got to take it on the chin but sometimes you can’t help but think about giving in.

“I actually got my break on the back of a rejection in 1995.

“I was supposed to be doing a support slot but it didn’t happen.

“So I phoned RTE in Ireland and ended up getting the chance to perform my song ‘What Colour Is The Wind’ on their programme, The Kenny Live Show.

“From that the radio stations over there picked it up, I got to No 1 in the Irish charts and it just went from there.

“I had plugged away for years though after first picking the guitar up at the age of 13.

“I remember I had a budgie stand for a mic stand for a while but then I started to build up and play the country music circuit.

“But before my big break, I wrote songs that other people recorded, and so when I played the pubs, I would get requests for my songs by the people who had recorded them, nobody realised they were my songs.

“But in the long run, all that has done me a lot of good.

“Playing a lot of different venues and having those experiences strengthens you.”

As well as building up a solid fan base over the years, Charlie has also received numerous country music and international awards as well as being inducted into the British Country Music Hall Of Fame last year.

Charlie said: “The greatest thrill you get is doing what you do in front of people.

“These other things like awards are just lots of icing on the cake for me.

“It’s nice to get recognition from your peers but it’s the music that matters.

“That’s where you get the joy from.

“On this tour the fans will hear all the songs that they know me for plus new songs from my new album.

“I tell a few jokes and things to lighten it all, I cover a few songs too. I love performing now as much as I ever have and it’s lovely for me to see the pleasure reflected on my family.

“It proves it’s all been worthwhile and it gives me an added lift.”

Charlie Landsborough will be appearing at The Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering on Sunday, March 25.

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £20.

To book, call the Box Office on 01536 414141