Wednesday 5th April 2017 – Prince Albert, Stroud
I’ve kept seeing The Prince Albert pop up on friends’ touring posters, timelines, twitter feeds and the more I saw this, the more curious I became. Friends of mine, Low Chimes, urged me to go perhaps around 3-4 years ago and instead I would always try to aim for Bristol when plotting out of a UK Tour, however for this tour I reached out and boy I AM SO HAPPY I DID. I was immediately greeted by Lottie – absolute legend. She came towards me, like a majestic white witchy goddess wearing no shoes to help us with the load, shortly followed by some of the most amazing brie I’ve ever tasted and told us to get comfortable. This level of hospitality shines like a star on tour. I’d been driving for a few hours from Rotherham, feeling jaded, but that Brie was a calling, telling me ‘Charlotte, you’ll be looked after here’.
The pub is simply wonderful – full of furniture, carefully collected through the years each piece having it’s place; band memorabilia on the walls; local gentlemen in for an early evening pint; pub dogs just wandering around (also enjoying the brie). I felt good. More than good, I felt lucky to be here.
Mike, from Boat to Row joined us to open, absolutely genuine human I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years and together – with Alessi – we follow Lottie upstairs to her Kitchen to be greeted by THE BEST CURRY EVER. Lottie had made homemade poppadoms for crying out loud. I watch her standing over the stove, making food for 16 people or so, owning the shit out of life.
It’s show time – for a free entry show, you’re always nervous for who is going to actually bother to turn up but the locals are in first and you sense by how close they are, with their cameras armed, they’re muso’s. This makes me slightly scared; muso’s like to study you; analyse every note you’re playing; every guitar you hold and every lyric you say but fear not and as expected the muso’s from Stroud are gentle and warm, and I am being honest when I say there was a magic swelling through the room which you simply do not find everywhere you go.
Stroud feels like the hidden mecca of music in the West and The Prince Albert feels like the pub on the corner I wish I had in my hometown. I finish up my set, and a gentlemen approaches me to say ‘You’re interesting Charlotte, you’re such a woman but you play guitar like a man’. I mini cackle, I’ll take that.