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Review: King Charles (II)

No, not that one on the left. The other one. There we go.

Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East and Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Photo: Flickr/Steve Punter – CC BY-SA 2.0
Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East and Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Photo: Flickr/Steve PunterCC BY-SA 2.0

So here we are, the second concert review for Berkeley Squares. The other day, I went to see a singer-songwriter called King Charles play at the Trinity Centre. This was the second time I’d seen him live1, having heard him at the Green Man festival in 2012. He was quite good, hence why I decided to see him again.

This time around, he wasn’t as great. There were a few good tracks, most notably Ivory Road, but most of it was fairly boring, even songs which sound great recorded. Maybe I’m just harder to please, having become a more seasoned gig-goer since my last encounter with him, but all in all it was a disappointing night.

King Charles III? No thanks! Photo Credit: Reza Akram
King Charles III? No thanks!
Photo Credit: Reza Akram

Unfortunately, he didn’t play my favourite song of his, Love Lust (well worth checking out). Although he might have. I left in the middle of what he said was his last song, but almost certainly wasn’t as musicians tend to come back for an encore, so it’s possible that he played it after I’d gone2.

King Charles isn’t one for small talk. His interaction with the audience beyond the singing was limited to asking “How you doing, Bristol?” three times. He’s almost as bad as Marco ‘the Robot’ Rubio! (More on him later, actually.)

I’m not much of a dancer, I have to admit, so when I go to gigs I tend to stand there and maybe nod by head a bit if it’s a real banger. I also think a lot. I composed most of this piece in my head whilst there, for instance. As I was listening to King Charles’s witty lyrics, I found myself writing a song of my own. The working title is The Ballad of Keith Vaz (High Prince of Leicester). I don’t have any lyrics yet, but don’t worry, I’ll keep you informed, all three of you3.

To conclude, it was an okay performance, but I’ve been to better gigs.

I don’t think I want to see King Charles for a third time. Nor, for that matter, do I want to see a third King Charles. Or any more kings or queens, in fact. There, I said it, I’m a republican!

The six remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Clockwise from top left: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ben Carson, Jeb! Bush. Photos of Cruz, Rubio and Carson by Gage Skidmore. The others by Michael Vadan.
The six remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Clockwise from top left: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ben Carson, Jeb! Bush. Photos of Cruz, Rubio and Carson by Gage Skidmore. The others by Michael Vadan.

★★☆☆☆

No, not that kind4.


  1. Hence the (II) in the title — geddit? 
  2. I left because I didn’t want to miss the last train home and thus have to walk back, you see. 
  3. “What made you think of such a title?”, I here you ask (again, all three of you). Well, whilst standing there, I thought back to the other gigs I’d been to recently. Back in October, the Barenaked Ladies, one of my all-time favourite bands, came to Bristol. They’re quite a funny bunch, and they make a habit of writing a song for each place they visit. We were treated to a 12-bar blues about the relative quality of scones from coffee shops on Park Street, as well as a track about the camera obscura at the Clifton Observatory. Anyway, I thought about what I’d write about if I were in a band on tour around Britain. For Bristol, I came up with The Pistol of Bristol (like my other song, I have a title but no lyrics). When I tried thinking of a different city, Leicester came to my mind for some reason, and Keith Vaz is the MP for Leicester East. Hence, The Ballad of Keith Vaz (High Prince of Leicester)
  4. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were the megalomaniacs alluded to in the excerpt, by the way. The other four candidates might well be too for all I know. After all, they are running to be President of the United States, a job which involves yielding a considerable amount of power. As Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”