Royal visitor King Charles returns to Preston for a gig at The Continental

King Charles is returning to Preston
King Charles is returning to Preston

King Charles is coming to Preston next week. Yes, you read that right King Charles is coming to Preston.

But there's no need to call in the ghost hunters. For this King Charles is one Charles Costa, a singer/songwriter from west London, with a look that falls somewhere between rock and roll royalty Adam Ant and Prince and a sound that blends glam rock, psychedelic folk, and indie pop.

He plays the guitar, piano, and cello; and is also a classically trained singer and performer. His first steps into the music business came when he returned to London after dropping out of university. He got together with some like-minded friends and played in a couple of bands.

He also began writing songs at the age of 17, and in 2009 he became the first ever Brit to win the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville for his song 'Love Lust'. The competition was judged by Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis and Charles won by unanimous vote. Following this victory King Charles was signed by Universal Republic/Island.

King Charles takes up his story: "I won a songwriting competition which put me on the radar of Universal Republic in America. I won with a song called Love Lust which is probably my biggest, best-selling song from that first album - even though we never released it as a single - and then signed to Republic, made a record in Hollywood at Capital Studios, toured with Mumford in America - that was pretty cool.

"I released my first album in 2012 - Loveblood, which was great.

King Charles' gig in Preston will be recorded live

King Charles' gig in Preston will be recorded live

"Toured a lot. Did a tour of England that was 31 shows in 31 days, around the UK which was quite challenging.

"I released my next album in 2016 which is called Gamble for a Rose.

"Now I'm back into the releasing process which is great."

Part of this releasing process is his pledge to drop a new track every month for six months on his indie label Buffalo Gang Records, which started in February.

Catch King Charles at The Continental

Catch King Charles at The Continental

He says of the first new single, 'Freak': "It's never felt so good to get a track off my chest and out into the world. It's about being a freak and being comfortable with that, this one's for all the freaks out there..."

Second single Out of My Mind (see the video above) was the March release and this was followed by Melancholy Julia on April 30.

Most artistes would shy way from such a difficult feat, but Charles says: "For some reason I like applying myself to a challenge - like doing that tour without any days off - doing these monthly releases, I really like that. I get a thrill out of it.

"I think as well the way music is going now - if you drop one single and then an album, then not make enough noise about it - I feel like it's a good thing to do, for the sake of people's expectations as well."

Charles is actually no stranger to Preston, having already performed in the city and filming one of his music videos - Out of My Mind - on the steps of Miller Park in the city.

And when he returns to Preston, you have a chance to be included in his latest music video as the whole thing is being recorded live. It is also being recorded for some live promo footage in general so there's a strong chance people attending the gig will be in these videos.

King Charles promises a hectic show on the night where you can expect, in his words: "Bangers. Bangers only. Strictly bangers - old songs, new songs."

Catch King Charles live on stage at The Continental on Wednesday, May 15. Support on the night comes from local band Moon and the Beams. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are £10 in advance (more on the door). Available from Continental bar (01772 499425) and Action Records (01772 884772). Also online at www.skiddle.com