ARTS AND FEATURES — 30 April 2014

By David Hennessy

She is well known as Oregon of Channel 4’s student comedy Fresh Meat as well as being formerly of classical crossover group All Angels.

He has fronted bands and was lauded for his stunning debut solo album, The Water’s Edge in 2012.

Now siblings Charlotte and Luke Ritchie have combined their talents for their forthcoming EP, Light of Another

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Luke says of the combination. “It’s been great because Charlotte’s brutally honest because she’s my sister: That’s quite annoying but also quite helpful and it’s just been really positive. I’m really proud of what we’ve done and it felt very natural.”

Charlotte adds: “It’s really great for me to have more input, any input in fact, because with  All Angels, a lot of the live stuff, we lost influence over that but the recordings we had no influence over at all so it’s really nice to be in the studio and have your voice heard and be a part of that. Also it’s quite easy with Luke because we know each other for a while,” she laughs. “Ya know: Live together, share the same parents, that kinda thing…”

Although Charlotte was performing and recording with All Angels from 2006 and Luke has played with bands like The Golden Retrievers and was once being lined up by Wes Borland for a post Limp Bizkit project, it wasn’t until Charlotte joined Luke onstage at his album launch in 2012 that the two sang together for one of the first times. Their live recording of Right Then & There was used in Fresh Meat signalled the beginning of the duo’s working relationship. Since then they have toured universities and released the single Hammerite to a positive reception.

Known for Fresh Meat, Charlotte will soon be seen as part of another sibling pair when BBC’s Siblings airs

“It was the Bush Hall gig. I’d done the song Right Then & There on The Water’s Edge where I did all the harmonies myself in the studio but I really wanted to do it live so I asked Charlotte if her and the angels would do it. We’ve always wanted to do it and it just hasn’t come around and then I think the Bush Hall thing was one of the highlights of the gig really and it kind of went from there.”

The new EP is very much in the same style of Luke’s acoustic and beautiful The Water’s Edge with the added ingredient of the beautiful harmonies. Was it very much the intention to keep what was working?

The EP’s track Four Track Tapes, a cover, deals with the “comedic disillusions” that happen to those who enter the music business. It sees Charlotte singing the sort of language she neve did with All Angels: “Yeah, All Angels really held back with the swear words,” she says. “Although I wonder if our audience craved a bit of rebellion from us, we never gave it to them. It’s really lovely to branch out lyrically but also we don’t sing any Latin with Luke so I get the best of both worlds.”

Luke adds: “There’s not enough Latin in our material. I’m open to other languages though…”

Will the EP be followed by an album? Charlotte believes the EP format could suit them better especially with her juggling acting work also: “We don’t’ have the luxury or the money to spend months and months in the studio if we’re really honest. The process is now reserved to a privileged few to have that freedom. In an ideal world, it would be absolutely awesome to spend six months writing and producing but the EP is so much more convenient because it can be done in a smaller amount of time and we have less pressure, it’s more informal really and it really really suits what we’re doing because it means Luke can carry on working and writing and I can carry on working on other things.”

Charlotte Ritchie with her screen brother Tom Stourton in Siblings

Charlotte can be seen soon as part of a different sibling act when she stars in BBC’s Siblings, a new comedy due to air in May. Charlotte jokes: “When Luke and I decided to do our EP, I then requested a series called Siblings that we could release at nearly exactly the same time as our EP. No, it’s an incredible coincidence and it’s really awesome because we’re essentially getting advertising from a TV programme that’s going to be on every week. But I’m really happy because it’s two things I’m really proud of coming out soon.”

From the same company that brought us The Inbetweeners, Siblings sees Charlotte playing a selfish sibling prompting Luke to say: “I haven’t seen it yet but it’s going to be a big mental leap for me to think of Charlotte’s character as an idiot sister.”

“Oh how very funny of you,” comes Charlotte’s sarcastic response.

We ask Charlotte if we can expect similar depraved humour to The Inbetweeners. “Kind of, it’s definitely depraved, a lot of it. It is quite slapstick and quite gross sometimes. The thing with The Inbetweeners is that they’re quite sympathetic characters in the sense you can identify and empathise with them because they’re young kids but the characters in Siblings are just quite reprehensible. Tom Stourton, the guy who plays my brother, his character is maybe a bit more sympathetic because he’s just quite lonely but mine just seems to be selfish and out for her own gain.”

“He could wear a hat,” comes Luke’s suggestion.

Is there talk of a fourth series of Fresh Meat? “There’s talk of it but there’s nothing confirmed yet,” Charlotte says. “It’s all about people’s availability really but I hope so. We’ll have to wait and see.”

The duo still want to take their act to Ireland where their family has roots: “I would love to go to Ireland,” Luke says. “If anybody wants to book us to get us out there then please get in touch because I’d love to.”

Luke and Charlotte will be on tour around the UK in May.

For the full interview, see the May 3 Irish World. 

Light of Another, the EP from Luke and Charlotte Ritchie is released on June 9.

For more information, go to: www.lukeandcharlotteritchie.co.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Luke-Charlotte-Ritchie/635838476475978.

Siblings is due to air in May.  

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