Charlie Dore teams up with Julian Littman at Shoreham’s Ropetackle

Charlie Dore & Julian Littman
Charlie Dore & Julian Littman

It will be nine instruments, 20 songs and 90 minutes as Charlie Dore teams up with lifelong friend Julian Littman at Shoreham’s Ropetackle on Friday, June 21.

They will be offering an evening of eclectic, contemporary folk as multi award-winner Charlie hits the road once again with Steeleye Span’s multi-instrumentalist Julian to share her latest album Dark Matter, a recording which has just won the Album Of The Year award from the USA Indie Acoustic Project.

They’ll also dip into favourites from the past six albums as well as sharing original acoustic versions of hits Charlie has written for others, including George Harrison and Jimmy Nail. They may even play a new version of Charlie’s Pilot of the Airwaves.

“I met Julian when we were 16,” Charlie recalls. “We were at drama school together, at Arts Educational – in the Barbican in those days. We had both been to boarding school, I think, and it was the most extraordinary release of freedom and excitement.

“We were friends because we both played guitar. What used to happen between classes was that we would sit around and the guitars would come out. We became friends that way, and people, particularly the staff, knew to requisition us if ever they were looking for guitar-players for productions or whatever. And we have just always stayed in contact.

“On and off we have always toured together. When I am touring my material, Julian is usually the first call – though I do work with other people. He is also an actor so for instance he might be on a long run somewhere. But really we have played together everywhere from Nashville to Glasgow.”

Musical understanding and a shared past are at the heart of their relationship: “Julian is very empathetic in terms of how he is really adaptable. He finds that he likes so many different types of music that he is really quick on the uptake. He can assimilate different styles of music really quickly in a really authentic way.

“He has been with Steeleye Span for about nine years now, which makes him still a new boy in terms of the history of the band! Their thing is folk and rock. It is more electric whereas our stuff together is all acoustic. It is very, very different to what he does with Steeleye Span but he is equally at home with what we do together as he is with what he does with Steeleye Span.

“But we do have a shorthand between us after all this time. It is very easy for me to be able to say that something isn’t working, that it sucks, just as it is very easy for him to be able to say the same thing to me.”

The new album came out a couple of years ago now: “But this is a very big country when you are playing acoustic venues. We are not playing 4,000-seaters, so there are a lot of venues to get around. This album has been out for a couple of years now, but we have barely covered about a quarter of the country so far.

“But this has really been the most successful album I have had so far in terms of not only critical reaction from the critics but also from the public. People seem to be able to relate to it very easily.”

Ropetackle, Friday, June 21, 8pm; 01273 464440.

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