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WATCH: London band releases their self-made video of single Nessie

By Margaret Chrystall

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A London grunge-indie-funk band which found Nessie muscling her way into a song they were writing have just released their video of the single. And now they’d love to play the song in Inverness!

Singer Charlie Raphael-Campbell – from queer-fronted band Charlescantbreathe – explains ...

Q How did the song come to be written?

A Our guitarist and me were pulling some songs together in the studio, playing this really nice chord sequence and singing about love and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I started singing about the Loch Ness Monster. And I thought ‘If she wants to be in our song, then I’ve got to let her!’. The lyrics go: ‘Your long neck, your mystery, I wish that I could see you and feel you, Nessie/ You’re running through my head all night …’. Then in the chorus: ‘Oh baby, take me for a ride, take me somewhere nice’.

The banc Charlescantbreathe.
The banc Charlescantbreathe.

Q The band is based in London, so have you any Scottish links?

A In my family we are part Scottish and are originally from around Inverness, my dad says, so since I was a kid I’ve always had a fascination with Nessie. It just came out in the song and everyone loved it.

Q What kind of impact has it had so far?

A The release has already got us interviewed on BBC London radio stations this week. And a promoter who heard the interview and the song has got in touch to offer us some gigs. He wants to work with the band to put on some gigs, including a headline slot in Camden over the summer!

Q How was the experience of making your video?

A We had a Nessie prop and were doing it with a green screen so we could pretend we were there. It was really fun!

Q The single’s cover was a painted image of Nessie, who did that?

A The band’s drummer Lucy Yates created the colourful painting. The photos of Nessie tend to be a bit dark and grainy and we wanted to paint her in all her glory and expressing her as something beautiful. Lucy created the painting and we love it!

The Nessie single cover design by the band's drummer Lucy Yates.
The Nessie single cover design by the band's drummer Lucy Yates.

Q And she has already inspired some merchandise too!?

A We have already made our own tie-dye T-shirts in a special Nessie design in our guitarist’s back garden.

Q Where did you get the band’s unusual name from?

A The “queer-fronted” description of the band refers to me. It just seems the easiest way to put it. In a way I started the band to help me come to terms with who I was. I spent a lot of time in school being bullied so having an artist project really helped. The name came about as about 10 years ago when I was 13, I found out I had a spinal scoliosis – a curved spine. I’d had a weird feeling between my shoulder blades then when I was sitting at the piano, my parents noticed a hump on my back. Less than a year later I had surgery to fuse my spine. The scoliosis meant putting on a full body piece for 23 hours a day and I could find it hard to breathe. I was trying to come up with a name at the time to use on YouTube and Instagram and thought of ‘Charlescantbreathe’.

Guitarist Cam models one of the Nessie T-shirts the band has made.
Guitarist Cam models one of the Nessie T-shirts the band has made.

Q Can you perform OK now [Charlie admits she has chronic pain]?

A I don’t have much flexibility in my back, but it doesn’t hinder me. It can be really painful if I jump too much on stage – I go hard! I feel it four days later, but it is so worth it. It’s what I want to do!”

Q Next ambition for the band after the release of the new video?

A We would love the chance to come and play it up there in Inverness!


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