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Persistence To See The Colour Of The Wind

Persistence To See The Colour Of The Wind

Who: Charlie Landsborough
Where: Hexham Bowling Club
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Sunday February 5, 2006

FOR 22 years Charlie Landsborough would head to a cosy Liverpool pub where he held a residency, hook up his guitar and sing to the small crowd.

The aspiring musician was hoping for his break but after years of rejection he was beginning to hold doubts.

``I played in one local pub in the docklands for 22 years. I played a lot of other places, too, but that one pub, I was resident there for 22 years. I think that must be some sort of record,'' Landsborough laughed.

``I suppose I was hoping someone was going to wander in and see me and whisk me off and make me a success, but when I got a little bit older I realised that was a bit naive.'' Landsborough began writing material intensely in the hope that even if he could not have success singing his own songs he could pass them on to others and gain recognition as a songwriter.

All it took was one song which depicted the life of a blind child's attempts to envision the world titled What Colour Is The Wind. Since then the country-style singer's popularity has grown much further afield, particularly in Australia, where he has embarked on another tour, taking in Hexham Bowling Club on Sunday.

Landsborough's rise reads something like a fairytale.

Now aged in his 60s, Landsborough's singing career took off only after his 50th birthday.

He has lived what he described as a ``varied life'', having tried many occupations over the years, including as a teacher and a quality control engineer. But music is his success story.

``It's the best job, without a shadow of a doubt. It's the job I always wanted.'' All those years when I was doing all these jobs, I was sort of hoping that I'd get a life in music and I began to despair a little bit when I was getting on but thankfully it all came good in the end.'' He endured rejection after rejection and was unlucky on many occasions.

In the early years of his career he was playing in a band named the Top Spots which was booked to support another local band called the Silver Beatles, later re- named The Beatles .

Somehow he missed the show.

Landsborough thought his big break had finally arrived in 1968 when Roy Orbison toured the UK.

After the tour he decided to set up a recording studio and began casting around for talent. A tape of original material by Landsborough was given to Orbison who showed interest.

An appointment was arranged but on the way to the meeting Landsborough heard Orbison's house had caught fire in Nashville and that two of his children had died.

Orbison returned to the US and the project folded.

It was not until 1994 that Landsborough's break finally came.

He was invited to perform on the popular Kenny Show Live television program and the response from his appearance was overwhelming.

A week later Landsborough's album was suddenly at number one in the Irish charts.

``I'm a great believer. I'm an ordinary fella and I think in '94 I was arguing with the man upstairs saying, `Listen Lord, I've been asking all these years for you to give us a hand and everywhere I turn I get rejected.

Why did you give me this gift if I'm not meant to use it?' ``And then I said, `All right. I give in. If I'm meant to be a school teacher then you'll have to help me cause I hate it'.

``Then almost from that point it seems the process began.'' on Irish television and here I am.``I remember at the time thinking somewhat naively at the time, `Wouldn't this be great if it latest six months. At least I could say I did something.' And thankfully here I am still doing the thing I love most.'' Phone 4964 8079 for tickets.

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