Let’s make things clear from the get go – CHARLIE STRAIGHT is a band hailing from the Czech Republic, not a solo artist, but the name is appropriate because they really do become one entity onstage. Regardless of the size of the stage or crowd, they give their all, and here at London’s 333 Mother Bar on their first UK tour, having played at The Great Escape festival, they rise to the challenge of winning over a new crowd.
Kicking off with a drum intro that sees frontman Albert Cerny and bassist Johnny Cienciala taking rhythmic duties on a snare and floor tom respectively, they build into opening track “Changing Trains” and from then on reel off a string of hook-laden, atmospheric songs. Their sound is reminiscent of (one of their chief influences) Coldplay, but there are other dimensions that indicate a liking for music as varied as country and electronica.
Albert performs as if it were Wembley Stadium, at one point jumping from the stage, firing glittering confetti through the room from some kind of pyrotechnic tube! And with songs like “Someone With a Slow Heartbeat” and “Coco” which has one of the catchiest ‘Waa-oh’ choruses I’ve heard in a long time, it’s easy to imagine them reaching that level of achievement – and this is all the more convincing when you see how well they interact with their fans. They have all of the confidence, charisma and talent to be a world-beating band, and all of the modesty, charm and DIY ethic for everyone to want it for them.