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get a young crowd. I'd hate turn

It's nice to

middle-aged men like me. Boogieing like it was

around and look at the crowd and see all

back in the day.

horn sections, singers that can strip paint clean from five hundred yards. You know, it's about a pure emotion and pure expression, and a beat that makes you boogie. You know what I mean?

Absolutely. Well, I'm a soul baby through and through. People say, "Why do you like soul music? What is soul music?" And it's hard to define. It's as much of a depth of feeling as anything rather than a genre. How would you answer that? People say, “You know, soul music; do you think it's going to have a resurgency?” And I'm like: "What do mean a resurgency?" Some of the biggest albums of the 21st Century have been essentially soul albums. Amy Winehouse's ‘Back to Black’, and Adele's ‘21’. Tey're basically soul albums, you know? It doesn't need a resurgency. Soul music is everywhere, you know? And when you get people like CeeLo Green topping the charts for months and months and stuff like that, it's all soul to me, you know? Soul music, as I said, is not R&B. It's not drum machines and samples, and stuff like that, although it can be. You know, but I

think you're right. It's a bit like mod. How do you define mod? Mod is not a music. It's not a dress code. It's a feeling and stuff. It's because of the emotion and the passion behind it, you know, and it's - because it's made by human beings rather than by machines mostly, and that's what kind of comes across.

You came to Latitude Festival recently and I heard reports that you absolutely smashed it there. But the festival crowd is so diverse. How do you prepare for that kind of thing? Well, actually, I don't even think about the crowd anymore. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant. I don't even think about what set I'm going to play. It depends on what mood I'm in, you know? I've got all this music and what I try and do is like what's going to make them dance, you know? It's nice to get a young crowd. I'd hate turn around and look at the crowd and see all middle-aged men like me. Boogieing like it was back in the day. I don't want this to be a history lesson - this is about getting young people into it. And in some cases, showing young people what they're missing. Say Beyonce's ‘Crazy in Love’. A lot of people aren't going to know that that sample comes from Te Twilights, you know?

My Mum is from Liverpool and I still have family there; it’s a city with a real pulse, with a real beat, isn't it? Being a magazine concerned with locality, tell us what it was like growing up there… Could you feel the rhythm in the city? I could feel it was always very different. I mean I suppose Norwich is like that in some ways as well. Maybe even Norwich more so, simply because it's not somewhere you're passing through, so that gives it that particular identity. I just wish it'd get a motorway. You know, with a motorway, it'd be brilliant! Liverpool is a bit like that. You actually go into Liverpool. It's a destination of choice. And so, I did grow up feeling that Liverpool was - actually, I grew up in the '80s, my formative years when Tatcher was trying to close down everywhere. Everyone got told to get on their bike and find work in the South and stuff like that. And it gives you a real sense of solidarity with fellow man as it were, but we're a city apart. We're something special. We're different than the rest of Britain. We've got a different accent. We've got a different sort of community mindset. I mean no - I seriously believe that no other city in Britain could have organised a city-wide boycott of Te

Sun newspaper like Liverpool did. And it does make you feel - I wouldn't say special - but different. You feel different than the rest of Britain. I'm certainly proud that I spent a lot of time growing up there. It's just so vibrant. It's just a great place to be.

As a radio DJ, you have a very personal role with your listening public. You're coming direct into people's homes and you soundtrack their Saturday night. I sometimes make my tea listening to you, as so many people do, don't they? I know. I should probably do that thing called a ‘Slow Cooker’ now, you know? You know, like the ‘Get a Room’ tune. It's like, okay, it's time to put down the pots and pans, get a hold of your partner, and dance around the kitchen while your kids shout “Get a room!” We get a lot of people getting ready to go out for a big Saturday night. We get a lot of people who are staying in, cooking dinner. A lot of people introducing their children to this kind of music. You know, probably being boring dad, going: "Listen to this. Listen to this.” Yeah, it's a great time slot actually to be had, simply because up against us on television are things like Strictly Dancing on Ice or Voice Factor, or Britain's Got Knobheads or whatever.

And Saturday night, if you weren't on the radio, what would be Saturday night for you now? My Saturday nights are - I'm gigging every Friday and Saturday night these days. Sundays are always spent with the family. It's my day off, so I've got a wife and two kids, and we generally - actually, I generally lie on the couch with the remote control in my hand, ordering my children around! Saturday nights are generally work nights for me, you know? Monday to Friday I do Coronation Street, and then Friday night and Saturday nights we'll gig.

Well, Craig, we're so excited about having you back in Norwich. You're looking forward to coming back? Oh great, I always love coming to Norwich. As I said, I wish it had bloody motorway, but apart from that it's always been a great city for me. I'm looking forward to it again, and please get everyone to come, because we're going to tear the roof off the place.

Emma R. Garwood Craig Charles brings his Funk and Soul band to Open on Saturday 5th October. For tickets, go to Read the uncut version of this interview on /October 2013/ 27

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