Review: Charlywood’s album release concert at Kramladen, Vienna — a raw, high-energy blast

Review: Charlywood’s album release concert at Kramladen, Vienna — it was a blast

Austria-based alternative pop rock band Charlywood gave their album release party underneath the train arches at Vienna live music venue Kramladen last Friday night (February 23rd, 2018). The concert was to present the band’s sophomore album released in November, and completely crowd funded by the band via Indiegogo.

Opening for Charlywood was Tall William, aka Will Campbell, who will have his own EP coming out in May, and who started off the evening in his own inimitable style — a guitar-toting man with a powerful sound, and some damned interesting lyrics.

And what I love about a live Charlywood performance is you know you can expect a high-energy night with a band that just about explodes from the stage, and who plays their hearts out in the rawest, dirtiest and most authentic way.

And with a lead singer and songwriter in Andy Charlewood whose quirky British pronunciations always make me think of the iconic Joe Jackson — although the British men don’t share the same accent — and whose on stage banter is sharp, sarcastic, intelligent and funny.

Oh, and in English. Which to me, a now-almost-2-year-resident-of-Vienna who is almost as German-phobic as I was when I got here, (well, not really phobic, just bloody lazy) it makes my evening sweeter.

On Friday night, Charlywood did not disappoint with their performance or their set list of songs either. Songs that ran the gamut from the new album back to the debut album, and on into a couple of interesting covers, and a set that looked like this:

  1. Talkin’ Bout Degeneration (second album)
  2. My Vagina (second album)
  3. The Hard Sell (second album)
  4. Alternatives (second album)
  5. Testify (debut album Aloadasongs)
  6. The End (second album)
  7. Make It Stronger (second album)
  8. Wounds (second album)
  9. Letdown (debut album)
  10. Run Towards The Truck (debut album)
  11. Version 2.0 (second album)
  12. Haircut (second album)
  13. Sledgehammer (the classic Peter Gabriel cover)
  14. Playback (debut album)
  15. Sharona (The Knack cover)
  16. Are We Together Yet (debut album)

And I know I have thoroughly enjoyed a concert when the band has finished up an encore, has categorically said “That’s definitely it, folks”, and I  still feel like they have barely begun as I have been so lost in the music, the wild, raw energy and the vibe, I can’t believe it’s almost time to go.

Such was my Friday night watching Charlywood play at Kramladen.

As for Charlywood’s self-titled second album, it sounds even better live than it does recorded — and it is damn good in its recorded version. Particularly as the band decided to go for a sound that, as they put it, “sounds like a bunch of people making music rather than a meticulously tweaked studio work”, and so is a sound that translates beautifully from the album to the live.

Because live, the awesome energy and power that is Charlywood on album is magnified by about 20 when they take to a stage, and so it was just a pure joy to watch and listen to Andy, Markus and the two Fabians kick some indie pop rock ass.

In other words, Charlywood’s album release party was a raw, high-energy blast and I have to say their concerts are highly recommended.

You can find out more about Charlywood and their upcoming concerts on the band’s Facebook page. You can listen to their latest album (and their debut album) on Spotify, you can buy them on iTunes, and you can hear just how good some of their new songs are in the two live cellar session videos below.

Charlywood is Andy Charlewood, guitar and vocals, Fabian Lewey, guitar and backing vocals, Fabian Natter, drums and backing vocals, and Markus Manahl, bass and backing vocals.

Related: Austrian indie pop rock band Charlywood has everything it takes to be huge