REVIEW: Charlie Worsham – Live At Night & Day Cafe, Manchester

p1020543Not many artists walked away from C2C earlier this year with the same euphoric reaction that Charlie Worsham had. His appearances completely changed his UK fan base and gave him a platform to headline his own shows further down the line. Many will remember his phenomenal contribution to the CMA Songwriters Series, where he was joined by some of the very best in the business and didn’t look out of place for one second. Across the weekend, he totally blew everybody away with his immense talent and his humbleness, and he came away as one of the shining stars of this year’s festival.

With plans to release a new album in the new year, Charlie has been back in the UK over the last couple of weeks. He has been opening for Kenny Rogers on his UK leg of the ‘Gambler’s Last Deal’ tour, but he threw in a couple of intimate headline shows along the way. We were lucky enough to attend the show at Night & Day Café in Manchester, where he was joined by song writing buddy Frankie Davies who opened the show in style with her flawless vocals and wonderful songs. She performed a number of tracks from her ‘Dancing All Night’ EP, including ‘Superman’ and my personal favourite ‘Shivers’, which got the crowd pumped up and ready for a stunning evening of music. She also threw in a couple of new ones which the crowd instantly embraced; she’s certainly one to look out for.

Charlie was welcomed on stage with a warm reception, and he was visibly taken aback by the rapturous applause. Throughout the night, the set list was a mix of fan favourites from his superb debut album ‘Rubberband’ with some brand new songs from his upcoming sophomore album. A personal highlight was ‘Mississippi In July’ which has become a regular feature in his set lists due to popular demand. His sheer ability on guitar was mesmerising to witness and he just made it look so easy. I could have watched him all night.

One moment that truly stands out was his performance of ‘Someone Like Me’ (a video is attached below) where the audience instinctively sang ‘If you eveeerrrrr….’ just before the chorus kicked in, prompting a surprised look from Charlie! This was an audience of real die-hard fans who knew every element to every song. “My background singers!!” His charisma and stage presence created such a great connection between himself and the audience and it almost felt like we were in his living room at times.

His new material takes Charlie in a slightly different direction from ‘Rubberband’ whilst still maintaining those catchy, instantly engaging melodies. In our interview he described it as a “familiar progression”. As expected, ‘Lawn Chair Don’t Care’ was included in the set list after the phenomenal response at C2C. This was probably the song of the festival, and some people in the Manchester crowd knew every single word already. ‘Birthday Suit’ was a real curveball, a rather heavy rocker about….well….getting naked. Whether this is a track I’ll choose to listen to in my spare time is debatable, but the “take it off, take it off” section provided a great moment for audience interaction. ‘Take Me Drunk I’m Home’ was one of the best from the new material; a tongue-in-cheek, humorously written track with a real honky-tonk feel about it. Definitely a future Charlie Worsham anthem in the making.

It seems like Charlie has found a new home here in the UK. Just one album into his career and he can play near sell-out shows on the other side of the world. It’s amazing what a C2C appearance can do for an artist isn’t it? But, saying that, he has got there on merit and a guy with his ability deserves to be playing much larger venues than the Night & Day Café. Charlie stayed around after the show to chat with his adoring fans for over an hour which was so refreshing to see. If anyone deserves to be the next ‘big thing’, it’s Charlie Worsham.