Sunday, 21 April 2013

Charlotte Campbell

It's finally here!

I've been following Charlotte Campbell for a while now. I met her last summer when she was taking part in the Mayor Of London Gigs competition, and since then she seems to have gone from strength to strength. After winning a scholarship at the institute of contemporary music through the competition, she released her brilliant EP, Stay, on iTunes, and performed at various different events, from Busking Before The BRITS at the O2 to the recent St George's Day weekend celebrations.

Charlotte's style is essentially a beautiful folk/pop/acoustic sound that's very pleasing on the ear. It's always wonderful to watch her perform, as it's plain to see just how much she enjoys it; as a fellow performer, this is something I can very much identify with. Rather than just attempt to describe her to you though, I think it's best I show you - here's the video for Charlotte's song "Quiet Nights".

She's even in the running to support Gabrielle Aplin on the London date of her tour! 

A few months back, Charlotte decided to make her debut album, completely independently. As you can imagine, she's built up quite a dedicated fanbase by now, and it was this fanbase that has helped make this album, Blue Eyed Soul, a reality. She set up a Pledge campaign with PledgeMusic, a site that helps artists make and release their material, with help from their fans. So for example, in Charlotte's case, you could pre-order the album through the site, either as a download, or a hard copy, and the money from that would help fund what was needed for the release.

Obviously, pre-orders alone are unlikely to fund all the equipment required to properly record an album, even doing so at home, so she also offered various different extra things that you could get if you pledged a bit more money towards the release - from behind the scenes extras, hard copies of Stay, hard copies of the album itself, signed copies, t-shirts, house shows, songwriting sessions - the the list goes on...!

And this is all before the album actually gets released on iTunes! All these exclusives - just for pledgers!

Charlotte's pledge campaign took off in a way she never could have expected. In the run up to the album's release through PledgeMusic, she received 127 various different pledges, and reached 772% of her original target, in terms of how much she'd need to make the album. This has meant she's been able to afford to not only complete the album to an even better standard, but also offer some of the other extras through her pledge campaign, and who knows what else? A little tour, perhaps? ;)

Charlotte's story so far is a brilliant one, and hopefully we'll hear even more from her as time goes on.

I highly recommend you check her out on the various sites available (which I have listed below), and if you ever happen to pass by her on the Southbank, say hello - I'm sure she'll appreciate it :) 


Here are some relevant links to do with Charlotte:

"Like" her on facebook:

Follow Charlotte on twitter:

Her website:

Check out Charlotte's YouTube channel:

Buy her EP, Stay, on iTunes:
Or bandcamp:

Vote for Charlotte to support Gabrielle Aplin on the London date of her tour!:

^ NOTE: When clicking this link it will take you to the site and a video of Charlotte's will open. All you'd need do is click "Like" and that counts as one vote. If you click "tweet" as well, I believe this also counts as a vote.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher

Okay, so Margaret Thatcher's died.

How do I feel?
I'm not quite sure.

Now look, I consider myself a bit of a lefty. Not a full-blown socialist, but a lefty nonetheless. So already, a former Conservative Prime Minister is not going to be high up on my list of people to mourn the loss of. I know from a lot of people that lived under her (my parents generation and beyond) that she's not exactly well-liked.

Yes, she privatised a lot of industries that were nationalised before. Yes, she stole children's free diet of milk at school. Yes, she introduced poll tax and destroyed much of Britain's manufacturing industry.

That's just to name a few of the things she did. There are many more that people who actually lived under her could probably name. But it's undeniable that yes, Thatcher was, and still is, an inspiration, at the very least for the achievement of becoming leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister, fighting against the adversity she faced simply because of her gender.

Now, obviously, as someone of my generation, who didn't have to live under her, I'm not going to pretend I can talk about Thatcher with much authority. There are many who hate her - many who are rejoicing today in her death.

But we must remember that she was still a person. She still had a family. A family that will be mourning her loss. A following who will also be mourning her.

For anyone who's seen The Iron Lady then they will also have a degree of respect for her. Because despite that debate about whether it was a good idea to be releasing a film about someone with dementia when they were (at that point) still alive, it paints a very sympathetic view of her.

Now I admit, it is very easy for our generation, that didn't have to live under her, to be more sympathetic...
But I suppose what I'm trying to get across is, regardless of what you think of her policies, and the bad things she did while in power, is it right necessarily that we rejoice in her death? That was still a human being. As a friend of mine put it, 'Slightly evil or not, she was still a person.'

I compare it to the death of Osama Bin Laden (and come on, let's face it, say what you like about Thatcher - no really, say whatever else you like about Thatcher - but she was not as bad as Bin Laden.)
Of course no-one was going to be mourning his loss. But did that make it right that people were rejoicing in the death of another human being? Is rejoicing in the death of another ever morally right, however much you may have hated them when they were alive, and are not going to be wishing they were still with us?

Now, it's not something that's going to play on my conscience enough that the jokes that are already spreading about her passing aren't going to make me laugh.

As far as I can see, there's not much problem with laughing about jokes made about Thatcher, particularly given the horrible things she did do to the country, etc.

But actively rejoicing in the death of another human being, however much you hate them?

I'm not so sure...