Now I won't be the first bloke and I'm sure I won't be the last to admit that I think Charlotte Church is great.

Even before her sweaty Bodega gig started, I have always watched her with a kind of fascination-come-expectancy of brilliance. For me she always delivered, although for some others that was not the case. I suppose a lot of folk were anticipating her to continue along the classical route to stardom. If you look at it, she did for a while. She took America by storm and reportedly picked up millions on the way.

So, why on earth the Bodega? Without wanting to knock this Nottingham venue in any way, which has had a whole plethora of musical talent through its doors, it is often seen a starting point for any up and coming band. Wouldn't you think that Charlotte was 'too big' for this small venue, one of my regular haunts?

Not so, it seems. She admitted half way through her set that she "doesn't do mainstream anymore". It is hardly surprising when you look at the cruel and disgusting way she has been treated by some of the newspapers. I won't mention which one in particular, but during the show Charlotte made it quite clear.

And it's this stubborn charm that I for one have grown to like. Charlotte seems to have had enough of the prying eyes and the hurtful and damaging articles. She doesn't seem to care about the big time anymore, and rightly so. And the even more exciting news is that she is enjoying doing what she's doing now without the backing of big record companies. Getting a little closer to people in smaller venues like the Bodega seem to count for more in her career now, and is certainly a big bonus for the likes of me.

Amazingly the Bodega wasn't sold out beforehand , but by the time Charlotte appeared on stage it was. Sporting a black and gold dress and blonde hair, she almost shyly made her way to the front and introduced herself with “Well, hello Nottingham,” which was greeted with great cheering and applause by the audience.

Charlotte and the band kicked off a set, which showcased her new four sing EP, ‘One’, which was due out on September 3rd. In her own words the EP is a mix of songs about how certain situations have made her feel over the years,and not just recently either

Charlotte had been making good use of a loop machine, which she knelt down behind at regular intervals. That was until about a third of the way through the set when she tapped the wrong pedal with her right foot and it just crashed into silence. For that split second, you could of heard a pin drop until Charlotte raised her head with a guilty child-like grin and declared, “I think I've fucked it up” in her South Welsh accent. The crowd burst into a mix of ecstatic cheering and fun loving hollering, and after a few seconds of help from stage crew she was off again.

The four song 'One' is definitely worth listening to. She makes use of extra drums where she can and, coupled with the loop and some atmospheric guitar work, it involves at points some darkly haunting material, and at others angry, outpouring of emotions. If you have seen the video to ' How Not to Be Surprised When You're a Ghost' you will know that this record is more than just about getting a few grievances off her chest.

Some more good news for us all is the fact that she hasn't lost interest in classical music all together. Without faltering she soars into the high notes on it, and all of a sudden you are immersed in her angels-calling and honey-covered immense talent.

Beginning with 'The Rise', the first track on the new EP, she worked her way through the new songs with ease despite the odd technical hiccup to which she admitted. “I'm not a technical type of person.” She floated through the rest of the tracks in her set which also included old songs such as ‘Breach of the Peace', 'Judge from Afar', 'Beautiful Wreck', and ended in 'James'

Charlotte doesn't do encores. As she pointed out,“It tends to make me look a bit of a tit.”

I for one was not bothered about that, and nor it seemed was anybody else.

After her previous both classical and pop albums, I believe this lady has stumbled upon a sound and look that could just take her back to where she belongs even if she isn’t interested in the mainstream. She can quite easily step beyond it, and she seems to have the right tools for doing so now.

Set List;

The Rise
Say it's True
Breach of the Peace
Come to Me
How Not to Be Surprised When You’re a Ghost
Judge From Afar
Beautiful Wreck
Mr the News

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Commenting On: Bodega, Nottingham, 17/8/2012 - Charlotte Church

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