Published On: Tue, Feb 26th, 2013

Green to Granite

charly pic

By Julie Shennan

They say romance is dead, but here to prove them wrong is Charly Houston, a musician taking on the Scottish scene with a style she calls ‘Romantindie’. No, not a new kind of ethnicity, rather a mix of folk and indie music that sees her plucking strings and singing about love.

“Each track on my new E.P is also named after an eventful month. For example, I have a ukulele track called November, which was the month I fell in love – how romantic.”

Houston, who named her new EP after her niece Ella-Grace, was inspired by moving up to Aberdeen and missing her family in Glasgow.

“I grew up in a very musical environment, watching my dad play guitar as well as obsessively watching bands live on YouTube, definitely made an impact.”

She started playing at the age of seven, and dabbles in guitar, ukulele, mandolin, cajon, drums and piano. She writes all her own songs.

“I took to music instantly, but I certainly wasn’t a prodigy at guitar. It took a lot of broken strings and sore fingers before I could perform it to a competent level.”

After years of practice she started performing under the banner Charly Houston Music, before getting her first break at Kelvingrove City Sounds festival in 2007.

“I remember shaking so much that I could barely play the chords I wanted on guitar, and I spent the full time staring at my dad for support.”

Many gigs later, the nerves are gone and Houston is taking the stage again, to promote her new EP.  Playing first at Aberdeen’s Café Drummond on February 28, she will then head home for a set at O’Neill’s bar in Sauchiehall Street on March 7.

Jumping between cities has become the norm for the musician, who recorded her album at Aberdeen College with help from producer Drew Gibson.   Despite being a weegie at heart, Houston is warming to the Granite City.

“In comparison to Glasgow, Aberdeen has a much smaller music scene and only a few well known venues. However, I have played in a number of places up here and I quite enjoy Café Drummonds, almost as much as I enjoy King Tuts Wah Wah Hut!”

Having performed King Tuts last year, Houston supported established London band, The Diagrams. She remembers it fondly.

“It was super cool; the venue gave me my own fridge shelf full of beer. I got a VIP pass, a good crowd, and it was also the best sounding venue I’ve played.”

Looking forward to playing many new venues, Houston plans to tour Scotland this summer to promote her new EP. It will also be released on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Bandcamp.

In the meantime Houston’s tracks can be accessed on Soundcloud.