By the time you read this, you will probably have already missed your chance to catch Charlie Green at this year’s Fringe; she’s playing just two performances at the Jazz Bar, the second this afternoon. But I doubt very much that’s the last we’ll hear of this talented singer.
Rushing between a dozen plays to review a day, gigs aren’t normally on my agenda during the festival. But I was lured along to the Jazz Bar for Green’s set by a mutual friend and because of her backing band – and this is a proper theatre connection.
Green’s songs are written and produced for her by Richard Beadle, the highly respected West End composer and musical director, currently employed at Betty Blue Eyes. He and the rest of the four-piece band Ian King (bass), Andy Philip (guitar) and Elliott Henshaw (drums) – are all taking breaks from West End musicals (Wicked, Shrek and Priscilla respectively) to work with Green.
Beadle first heard the twenty-something two years ago when she was performing with an all-girl pop band at a holiday resort in Cyprus. Since then, he has written ten songs, specifically for her voice – which is hailed as a mix of “Etta James and Billie Holliday with a nod to Joss Stone, Carole King and Adele”. And it’s clearly inspired him, with a string of soulful wonders, beautifully rendered by Green, including “I Hurt You”, “This Bird Has Flown” and “Release Me”.
Thanks to Green, Beadle and co for providing me with a hugely entertaining musical respite from my festival frenzy. I enjoyed it so much I even got her debut CD, Release Me. Londoners should look out for future dates when Green and Beadle will be doing gigs at Freedom and other West End haunts.