Fans of country music legend Charlie Landsborough will be devastated to learn that he has decided to hang up his guitar and stop touring.
But before he puts his feet up for good, Charlie is back on the road for a last hurrah and as part of his Irish tour he will be performing at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh on January 23, Ardhowen Theatre in Eniskillen on January 24, Millennium Forum in Londonderry on January 25, Grand Opera House Belfast on January 28 and 29, and Strule Arts Centre Omagh on January 30.
It was a long road for Charlie to make his name in the music industry and he admits to having a catalogue of jobs before hitting the big time. “When I left school I did a succession of jobs,” he revealed. I was a quality control manager, I was a postman, working on the railway, worked in a flour mill and lastly I was a teacher. When I wasn’t working I was playing music in my bedroom.”
Charlie started singing professionally in the 1970s, although his major success did not come until 1994 with his song My Forever Friend. Charlie is generally recognised and categorised as a country singer, however, as his fans will tell you, country music is only one part of his live shows and music catalogue.
It is with a heavy heart that the singer has decided to retire, but he has said that he might be tempted back for the odd performance. “It is an elongated farewell and I could maybe be coaxed back,” he admitted. “It’s sad for me and I have really mixed feelings about retiring because my whole life has been surrounded by music. It’s obviously going to be a bit of a wrench. I made the decision with great regret and sadness but there comes a time when you have to call it a day.”
Before he calls it a day, however, Charlie is looking forward to returning to Northern Ireland for a series of shows. “Northern Ireland is fantastic,” he continued. “I have been going over there for a long, long time. When I first went over for Gerry Anderson’s show the Troubles were still on so it was with a bit of trepidation but the people were so lovely and they continue to be so. I have been an ambassador for Northern Ireland ever since. There is a real generosity of spirit and the people are fantastic. They have been incredibly good to me and it’s an absolute joy to be going back.”