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Charlie Austen

Growing up as a shy teenager in the middle the fields of Sussex, I had a lot of time sitting alone in the attic with my parents' record collection. Carole King, Etta James, Simon & Garfunkel, Eartha Kitt, Led Zeppelin and Marvin Gaye were some of my closest friends at the time, followed by Radiohead, Supergrass, Pulp etc once the teenage angst phase kicked in.

Singing was always a part of family life at home and around 14 I got my first acoustic guitar and started learning covers. I would occasionally get up and play a song at pubs in the area where my dad was (and still is) a local music legend.

 

At uni in Nottingham I joined my first band, Lux Lisbon, playing bass and singing harmonies and began writing some songs of my own, which I would open some shows with.

Years later I went to watch my mum's husband play at a blues jam in Greenwich and he got me up to sing Stormy Monday. Some dodgy bloke called Dennis was running the jam and called me a week later to ask if I wanted to sing a song on his band's next album.

 

I took him up on the offer and ended up singing lead on Don't Play That Song for Me, plus harmonies on several other songs for 13 Shades of Blue. Next stop was Glastonbury, supporting Squeeze on a tour ending at the Albert Hall plus more extensive touring of the UK, Europe and even as far afield as Dubai.

One of the most amazing experiences so far in Nine Below Zero has been creating the Avalanche album. Co-writing lyrics and melody with Dennis, recording with a wealth of talented musicians and hearing the results on radio, CD and vinyl has been such a privilege.

We recorded both albums at Glenn Tilbrook's studio and through this connection I have also had the pleasure of supporting Glenn on several tours of the UK with my own solo material. I have also opened for Bryan Ferry on a tour of Europe and continue to develop my own act, opening gigs for Nine Below Zero. Make sure you get in early to catch me before the band shows!

All in all it's been a hell of a ride so far and I can't wait to see what happens next!

"Shoes may be lacking in Charlie's on-stage performance but talent and entertainment definitely are not" KRISTIAN, Songwriter News

"You're so uncool, it's brilliant" - JENNY, Maidstone

"Your voice feels like melting butter on hot toast" - LUCHI, The Songwriting Academy

"The best Feet in R&B" - KAI, Bridport Electric Palace

"You're just not a pretty face" - DENNIS GREAVES, suspected dyslexic

"Great voice, like a cross between Elkie Brooks and Sam Brown, we are getting married" - OTHERWISE RATHER OFFENSIVE TWITTER USER, Bristol