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Chesham band hope for better music scene in Bucks
THERE’s only one good thing about a small town, sang Lou Reed.....You know that you want to get out.
He wasn’t the first to complain about growing up in a cultural backwater and certainly won’t be the last.
Living with his parents in Chesham, young Charlie Costello seems to share that sense of grievance and dissatisfaction with his surroundings.
But as Bluesmen have done for decades, the 22-year-old writes down his complaints and makes songs about them.
Charlie has been writing music on his guitar since his early teens, but more people have started taking notice since the formation of his band Big Sixes earlier this year. The foursome play fast-paced indie pop, with Charlie delivering long, bitter-tasting lyrics as the moody front-man.
He told Freetime: "I just sing about normal teenage boys’ sort of stuff. Growing up in a town I’m not too fond of...With things I wish I had and things I don’t want...
"No matter what time of year it is in Chesham the sky always seems to be grey. But it’s mainly just the lack of having anything to do...
"It’s not a great bastion of culture - there’s nothing really happening, especially for young people."
Bandmates Toby Taylor, Charles Bush and Max Saidi know how he feels - they all still in Chesham with their parents too.
Of course young men complaining about stuff is nothing new, but perhaps in their case it feels a little more justified.
With the recent closures of the legendary Nag’s Head pub in High Wycombe, as well as Wycombe Academy, it seems a bad time to be starting a band in Bucks.
Charlie added: "Wycombe used to have a great music scene and now there’s absolutely nowhere. When I was 16 or so we would go to the Nag’s Head and it would be packed, but now the student union feels like the only place where you’re going to get a good crowd."
"There even used to be a scene in Amersham at the Jubilee Hall near the station. It was nothing major but it was better than nothing, but that stopped a long time ago."
"It’s hard to get a big following round here because of the lack of a music circuit. If I want to go to a good gig I’ve got to go into London."
But having already dropped out of university and tried various jobs, Charlie says he won’t be giving up on the music career, despite the economic uncertainties.
He added: "Writing songs is all I’ve ever wanted to do, so it would be silly not to do it. Sooner or later even if I’m not making money I’ll be out there living out of a suitcase, not stuck in a dead end job in Chesham.
"And if I’m not writing for myself I’d want to be writing for other people and trying to make a career out of that."
Big Sixes go on tour at the start of December, with a gig at the Bucks New University Student Union on December 8.
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