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Music Editorial

charliethomas17.jpg Local: Charlie Thomas

This is Billingham’s Charlie Thomas, a singer/songwriter in thrall to the scuzzier, more bohemian, end of US culture.

Scuzzier end? I’m talking the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but, burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars. In other words: the beat poets (that “mad” quote, of course, is from Jack Kerouac). In other other words: Iggy, Velvet Underground, that lot. It’s just him and his guitar, but he manages to conjure up a real atmosphere, not least with Betting on a Miracle, which is driven by a choppy melody and has a Doors unplugged vibe. (His voice also has some of the command of Jim Morrison – never a bad thing.) Needless to say he has a song called Hotel Chelsea (a wistful ballad) and Subterranean Girl (which would slot nicely onto one of Nick Cave’s less bombastic albums). He’s playing The Green Room in Stockton on Friday 3 November (£4) at a night he’s calling “American Death Poems”, which will feature a “collection of songs that have been inspired by mid-20th century beat poets”. Black polo necks are strictly optional.

Seek: facebook.com/www.charliethomas.co.uk