Following the sad passing of Charley Keigher (aka Charlie Keighera) on 28th November 2021, I've had the album Dandelions on loop in my car.
I wanted to post something, some way on honouring Charlie (yes, the spelling was varied over the years), but all I could think of doing was sharing some videos from YouTube to perhaps spread the word.
Up until recently I've kept my King of the Slums (K.O.T.S. were initially called Slum Cathedral User) fandom to myself. I discovered them in my early teenage years in the late 80s, hearing Sarah Curtis' screeching raw violin and Charley's northern poetic lyrics on BBC2's Snub TV/Reportage. They were my band, part of my teenage identity. Yes, I was too young to see them live, but I felt connected.
I tried to get my high school mates interested, but they were too busy listening to goth . When I moved to sixth form everyone was listening to shoe-gazing indie. In all fairness, I was too, but I kept K.O.T.S. close. After they split following their 3rd album, Blowzy Weirdos, I though that was that but I kept looking, hoping.
It was a long wait. And then another long wait, followed by an even longer wait before they finally came back in full force. Discovering Machine Gun Witchcraft album in 2005 was joyous, 2009's The Orphaned Files even more so. 2017's Manco Diablo brought a full return, with 2 more studio albums to follow. I was one happy K.O.T.S fan.
To fans and music lovers, Charley's passing came out of the blue. Lots of great artists have come out of Manchester, but Charley was the most under-appreciated. Perhaps like all great artists he will be appreciated even more in years to come. I know I'll still be listening.
Thanks for music, Charley. I consider it memorable.
Virgin Mary/One Trick Fairy
Churchbells over Enlgand
Salt of the Earth