King Charles is an extraordinary man. He doesn’t look like anyone you know, he doesn’t think like anyone you know and he doesn’t make music like anyone you know. How often, in these days of near fatal over saturation, days where you feel that, perhaps, there’s just nothing new out there to spark your imagination, can you say that? Born and raised in London’s leafier corners – Wandsworth, Dulwich, Barnes – King Charles now lives with his best friend in North West London. We think that means Kensal Green, but we forgot to ask. We meet in a restaurant for lunch. When a waitress asks if we’re ready to order, King Charles asks for a skewer of fish. Or a banana. Or some cake. The restaurant has none of these things. He deals with the disappointment well. King Charles spent his youth reading and listening and thinking and playing. His first ever gig was as part of a fully made-up Kiss tribute band when he was very young (he was Paul Stanley – “no chest wig, sadly”). Now he has put a decent wodge of what he has learnt into a quite extraordinary record that draws down influences from Afro-beat, rock and roll, glam, folk, hip-hop and country. He’s rather good at opening lines. ‘Bam Bam’ explodes into life with the observation, “That girl who is (is) but your beautiful daughter, she may be the cure, but for now she’s the torture…”, Lady Percy exclaims, “If you would agree to be my love, I’d build you a world that would fit like a glove…”, while the delightful Ivory Road declares, “You’re the nose in my bullet, the trigger on my gun, you’re the sandbank in the ocean, oxygen in my blood…” The heart of each song is lit up by joyous pop and the edges are coloured in by wild and wonderful ideas. If you are interested in songs with some spirit in their belly, songs about love and about life and about people and why they do what they do, if you are the sort of person whose mind is still open to magic, wherever it comes from, then you will like it very much.