Monthly Archives: April 2012

Stick a label on Charlene Soraia

APR signWherever You Will Go, featured on the Twinings tea advert in the lead up to Christmas last year. I was so enamoured with this song that I had to delve deeper into her work and was thrilled to find an already impressive repertoire to her name.

It’s interesting that Chalene’s biggest chart hit is purely piano led because she’s an incredibly gifted guitarist, self-taught and having played since the age of five. These influences feature prominently in her EPs and debut album Moonchild. At the age of 23 she is already a veteran of the touring circuit, regularly selling out the Night and Day in Manchester and countless other venues across the country. I was excited to finally get the chance to see her perform at the Royal Northern College of Music and her set didn’t disappoint.

To best describe the sound we have to talk about genre. I’ve encountered lots of musicians over the years but have never met one who liked being pigeon-holed by a label. This is probably because it becomes very constrictive; there’s a sneer if the artists venture beyond the genre that has been bestowed upon them by critics. Music shouldn’t be like that; it’s one of the most expressive and creative art forms so experimentation should be encouraged. Any good artist will want to enrich their own style by taking influences from many genres, therefore overlapping them all.

APR charlene

Here are some more labels for you: With similarities to artists like Katie Melua, Rumer and hitting the high notes as good as Minnie Ripperton, it made me wonder why the RNCM concert hall was only half full for the gig? Setting the ambience for the evening was the opening song When We Were Five, psychedelic in style.  Charlene’s prowess with a guitar is almost mesmerising because it is so effortlessly natural to her. She switched to playing the mandolin for the mellow Midsummer Moon in June, baritone guitar for edgier Animal and back again throughout the set. All of which was interspersed with humorous anecdotes, making it a thoroughly enjoyable night.

With many strings to her bow (or should that be guitar?), Charlene Soraia has an impressive back catalogue, dabbling in various styles, that keeps on growing. If you’ve only heard The Calling’s cover song then her musical cannon is definitely worth exploring further. Especially if you like her style of music… whatever it is being labelled as at the moment. Regardless of what genre it is, the music sounds good. That’s the most important thing.

APR band

Pure visit Stockport’s Teenage Market

What first comes to mind when you think about the town of Stockport? Maybe it’s the successful Metro swimming team, containing many hopefuls for the 2012 London Olympics. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of Tudor house Bramhall Hall or the fabulous art deco restored Plaza theatre.

Don’t worry if none of those things instantly spring to mind; over the years Stockport has built up a reputation of being the forgotten sibling of the bright lights and bigger city of Manchester. However, as a proud Stopfordian, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! (FACTOID: Natives are known as Stopfordians because ‘Stopford’ is the name the town derived from. You never know, that might be a question in a pub quiz sometime.)

MAR pure logoPure 107.8 FM is the radio station serving the borough, which I have been involved with in lots of different ways over the past two years. I’m part of the team who put together The Basement, a community show which focuses on issues that affect young people across the town. You can imagine when we heard about a new initiative called the Teenage Market this was something that we wanted to feature on the show. By being there on the day, this also offered us a great opportunity to promote the show to our target audience as well as the potential to sign up new victims… sorry – presenters!

As I headed towards the market place on Sunday April 1st, just walking down the streets was like stepping back in time. The town centre is steeped in history – quite literally actually, with Stockport being infamously built on a hill! Mixing old nostalgia with new ideas, this was a perfect backdrop for the inaugural Teenage Market. I collected vox pops for the show and got talking to many of the stallholders; from vintage clothes to film making equipment and lifeguard training, there was something on offer for everyone. It was inspiring to hear from young people who not only have good business ideas but who also have the entrepreneurial skills to get the ball rolling and put their business plans into action. There’s plenty of things in Stockport to be proud of and The Teenage Market was a great showcase for many of them – the rising stars of the future!

(C) Mark Pattison

Hear how we got on at The Teenage Market this Wednesday from 7.30pm on Pure 107.8FM. The Basement is Pure’s youth show, made for young people by young people in Stockport. If you’d like to get involved email 

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