Tag Archives: Charley Stone

Charley Stone: Merry Christmas Actually – video of the day

Multi-talented artist and all-round good egg Charley Stone just dropped a suitably 2020 DIY video for her festive single, ‘Merry Christmas Actually’.

Featured as our track of day earlier in the month, the song is a brilliant indiepop riposte to problematic festive film ‘Love Actually’. Stone’s crowdsourced video features her friends offering their ideas for Keira Knightley’s character to respond to him off of The Walking Dead turning up on her honeymoon doorstep to hold up signs professing his unsolicited love for her. Contributors playing the role of Knightley include Stone’s bandmates Jo Bevan of Desperate Journalist and Marjne van der Vlugt of Salad. My personal favourites are ‘Bugger off, Egg, find your own wife’ and ‘Have you got my Waitrose order?’.

What would your response have been?

Charley Stone: Merry Christmas Actually – track of the day

Today’s track of the day comes from awesome London artist Charley Stone. Out today for Bandcamp Friday, ‘Merry Christmas Actually’ is a brilliant indiepop riposte to problematic festive film `Love Actually. We asked Charley to tell us more …

This song came about when I was having a songwriting day back in January – I was playing the 20Song game with Laura Kidd (Penfriend / She Makes War) i.e. we each set aside the day to write with the aim of coming up with 20 songs. In practice I never manage more than five, and this was the fifth one that came out on that occasion. There’s something about spending a day writing, by the end you’re tired and stuff just comes out of nowhere. So I was playing the guitar, and just idly started singing “Merry Christmas”, and before I knew it these words had spilled out all about the guy in Love Actually who is infatuated with his best friend’s wife and turns up on her doorstep at Christmas, professing his love and expecting it to be their little secret. It’s like, he genuinely thinks he’s being very romantic and chivalrous or something, to just put it out there, “without hope”. 

The song is sung from his point of view, but with an awareness that he’s basically idealised her to the point of denying her any agency. He thinks he’s Dante Gabriel Rossetti or something (who I quote in the middle of the song, yes, well, that’s just the kind of person I am). Oh woe is me, I’m lost in your beauty, it is all terribly tragic and pure – no ssssh be quiet I don’t even want to think about how this affects you. That’s what always annoyed me about the film – we’re expected to believe that Keira Knightley’s character just smiles at him indulgently and then goes quietly back inside? That she wouldn’t have paced around the kitchen in a rage telling her husband “your so-called friend has just planted an emotional bomb on our doorstep and I can’t even”? Etc. 

Anyway I didn’t actually finish the words for the second chorus until a month or so ago when I realised Christmas was actually coming and I should probably record it. And I knew I wanted a bit of a Phil Spector / Magnetic Fields sound for it, so I sent a demo to my colleague from the Salad band, Donald Ross Skinner, as I know he’s brilliant at that kind of thing. He recorded some drums for me, then I did a few tracks each of guitar and vocals at home, and then Donald added bass and loads of different keyboard parts and mixed it and made it sound practically perfect in every way.

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The Dorising podcast episode 5 with Charley Stone, Delila Black and Stephanie Phillips of Big Joanie

London kitchenpunx I, Doris (aka Team LOUD WOMEN) just served up the fifth episode of their Dorising podcast, featuring guests Charley Stone (Salad, Desperate Journalist, and all the other bands), Delila Black, and Stephanie Phillips (Big Joanie).

“Dorising about writing and recording music at home, starting DIY bands, and having accidental smash hits.”

Previous episodes have featured Miss Eaves, Lorna Tieflholz, Debbie Smith, Joyce Raskin, and Audrey Campbell.

The podcast is out on all platforms here or you can listen right here:

The Dorising Podcast – episode 8 Christmas Party Special! The Dorising Podcast

Doris, Doris, Doris and Doris from the band I, Doris host the eighth episode of the Dorising podcast – a Christmas Party special! With guests:Charley StoneEfa SupertrampGilanKel of The Empty PageMs MohammedBen Marriott of TWATSSKristina Stazaker of T-BitchMaggie Devlin of Party FearsDorising about the magic of Christmas, the misery of Spotify, social skills practice in 2020, and everyone’s favourite Christmas songs. Plus everyone gets their pets out for the awwws.With music and live performance from all the guests.
  1. The Dorising Podcast – episode 8 Christmas Party Special!
  2. The Dorising Podcast – episode 7 with Dunstan Bruce, Chris Fox, John Szymanski and Jon Langford
  3. The Dorising Podcast – episode 6. With Julie Riley of I Am HER/Rosa Mota, MIRI and Lilith Ai
  4. The Dorising Podcast – episode 5. With Charley Stone, Delila Black, and Stephanie Phillips of Big Joanie
  5. The Dorising Podcast – episode 4. With Joyce Raskin, Seana Carmody, Audrey Campbell & Sarah Lay

video: Graceland

Graceland, Debut London gig, The Old Blue Last, 11 Novgraceland
Much excitement led up to the London debut of this all woman four piece. Fans of popular shouty trio Fever Fever were keen to see what Rosie and Ellie did next.
Well, they joined forces with twins Maxie(drums) and Stevie (bass), Gedge who some may recognise for the band The Brownies and formed Graceland – (apparently named after the Paul Simon album as opposed to the Elvisresidence). Graceland are focussed, pounding joyously dark, hook laden indie pop somewhere with a whiff of Warpaint, at points chucking in a bit of a light surf rock vibe that wouldn’t go amiss in a Go Go’s song. Although completely ‘of the now’, there is a nod to the 80s in their sound and the band would not sound out of place playing in the nightclub at the beginning of San Junipero (Black Mirror).

Charley Stone and I caught up with Ellie and Rosie from the band after the gig:

7 things girls in bands need to know

Whether you’re the lead singer in a militant feminist punk group, or play second fiddle in a folk collective, female musicians all need a helping hand from their sisters if they want to get ahead in the big boys’ club that is the music industry.

We at LOUD WOMEN Club know this all too well, which is why we’ve asked some of the bands who have played for us to share their top tips for being a girl in a band.

1 Ren Aldridge, vocalist in Petrol Girls

My top tip for women getting involved in music is that it’s ok to suck. Seriously, there are plenty of men who play music that suck, and they are allowed to suck and it have nothing to do with their gender. It takes time to get good at what you do. So suck for a bit, and enjoy it. You’ll get better without even realising.

2 Charley Stone, guitarist with MX Tyrants

Here’s a technical tip for soundchecks: often when you’re having problems hearing things on stage, the sound tech (often a guy) will shrug and tell you ‘it will sound better when there’s people in the room’. To an extent they’re right – but that’s not much help when you’re trying to get a balance onstage so that you can all hear what you’re doing. So when that happens, ask them to switch off the front of house PA so you can play a song or a bit of a song with just the monitors on, and see if you can hear yourselves then. That’s my tip from the top! It’s one of the things I wish I’d known when I started out, anyway.

3 Laura Kirsop, singer in Ex People

Don’t be scared to say no. In my old bands, stylists wanted me to wear things I would never normally wear and I was too scared to put my foot down. As a result I was uncomfortable and gave a worse performance. Just say no!

4 Hannah, singer in GAYR

“Don’t do yourself down until you’ve given everyone else the chance first!” That observation was from another female performer and it really resonated with me. I had, and still have, to get out of my own way, as a performer, writer or really anything else! My advice would be, just have a go. There’s no magic formula or god-given talent or right involved. Hook yourself up with some enthusiastic and supportive people and do some work. Put on a wicked outfit, or don’t, and have a ball.  If you think you’ll love it, you probably will.

5 Cassie Fox, bassist in The Wimmins’ Institute

When you’re a new band, you’ve got to shout from the rooftops about how awesome you are. Blow your own trumpet – no one’s going to do it for you! Bigging up yourself goes against everything we were taught as little girls about being ‘ladylike’. Which makes it doubly important that the next generation of little girls see us smashing that toxic stereotyping to bits. Be bold and confident (or, at least, feign confidence for long enough for it to start to feel natural!)

6 Becky Baldwin, bassist in IDestroy

Know when to stand up for yourself, ask questions and prove yourself. Online trolls can be ignored, but certain people in the industry can and will help you if you can calmly but fairly show why they are in the wrong. Most people don’t know they’re being sexist, and although it’s unfair that we need to work extra hard to prove we belong here, I think it’s the best way to push the industry forward. Use your knowledge and be proud!

7 Lilith Ai, singer songwriter

Kill with kindness. Nobody is perfect. Making music is hard and it’s scary sometimes, showing all when you’re on stage or people are checking out your MP3s. So don’t diss your fellow artists, befriend them. They’ll be your greatest allies.

18 March 2016: The Ethical Debating Society | Bugeye |Charley Stone


A night of top notch badass woman-lead pop-punk-riot-awesome, in Finsbury Park’s finest venue, Silver Bullet.

Line-up for FRIDAY 18 MARCH 2016:

Charley Stone from All-The-Bands with exuberantly lo-fi interpretations of classic pop hits. Expect distorted guitars, dodgy drum machines and fragile vocals together with guest appearances from other Minor Indie Celebrities.

Indie disco with a darker twist – you’ll love ’em.

DIY riot punk trio. Best. Band. Ever.

Doors 7.30 pm
£5 entry

All welcome!

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