Popularising the new take-away food concept, Ray expanded the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand throughout the U.K. establishing it as a premier fast food chain. In recognition of his hard work and dedication to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ray Allen was made a Colonel of the State of Kentucky, by the then Governor of Kentucky, Edward T Breathill. Charlese attended Lawrence House School in St. Annes-on-Sea, and Rossall School in Fleetwood, both in Lancashire.
She was a member of the Lawrence House School and Rossall School Choirs and Rossall School Chamber Choir and was awarded a musical scholarship at Rossall. She was trained classically by Janet Wunderley of Chetham’s School of Music. Janet Wunderley also trained Victoria Hesketh, aka “ Little Boots”, Charlese's classmate and duetting partner at Rossall School. In 2003 Charlese moved to Liverpool attending Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) where she gained a diploma in Popular Music & Sound Technology and trained in Speech Level Singing. Charlese was the lead singer in the band “Soul Migration” with fellow LIPA students and later joined the band “CDDJ” with one of her Tutors from LIPA, touring all over the UK and British Army camps in Germany.
Charlese remained in Liverpool attending John Moores University to study Spanish on a 4 year degree course. As part of that course Charlese lived in Granada in Andalucia, Spain, for 1 year whilst attending Granada University. Charlese gained a BA (Hons) in Applied Languages Spanish with a dissertation written in Spanish on ‘The reasons behind the possible marginalisation of sub-Saharan African immigrants in Granada’. Charlese speaks fluent Spanish and teaches Spanish as a Private Tutor. In 2004 Charlese participated in first series of the ITV television talent show, Simon Cowell's "The X Factor".
From 50,000 applicants she reached the final 27 contestants in the 'Under 25' group in the final day of Boot Camp. Sharon Osbourne was her Mentor & Mark Hudson was her Vocal Coach Livin' On The Edge (Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Mark Hudson). 2004 was the year that saw Steve Brookstein win the competition with G4 placed 2nd, Tabby Callaghan 3rd and Rowetta 4th. Tabby Callaghan was in Sharon Osbourne's ‘Under 25’ group with Charlese.
In 2005 whilst living in Liverpool Charlese formed a duo with musician & songwriter Matthew Shaw, one of the co-writers of “The Pool Of Life”, the winning entry for the ‘Song For Liverpool’ contest for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in 2008. Matthew Shaw is the son of Robby Shaw of the Liverpool Band ‘Elliot’ (1971-78) feat; Robby Shaw (guitar,vocals), Jimmy Rogers (vocals), Harry Skully (bass) (ex-Shane Fenton and the Fentones) Bob Lawson (drums). They were nationally recognised as one of the best harmony bands touring the country winning the North East Clubland Award on many occasions. The band appeared on Opportunity Knocks in 1976 following the release of the record ‘Singing in the Rain’.
As well as performing live with Matthew Shaw, Charlese was also a member of a North West Function Band. In 2008 Charlese was asked to join a new girl band, now known as ‘The Bon Bonz’, working with a producer in Leeds. In 2009 Charlese left the band in order to concentrate on songwriting, her ongoing collaboration with Matthew Shaw and forming her own function band with local musician Tom Vernon. The five piece band “Midnight Lamp” performed jazz, funk, soul and disco at weddings and functions throughout the UK.
In August 2011 Charlese entered the competition "The Big Audition" with Jamie Cullum in association with Pizza Express. From over 8,000 entries Charlese was chosen as one of the Top 50 and performed in the regional heat in Leeds with Matthew Shaw on Guitar, Chris Hodder on Bass and Daniel Smith on Sax. They won after performing Turn on Them Lights, a song written by Matthew Shaw and got through to the Top 10. In October they had a masterclass with Jamie Cullum at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on Dean Street, London.
They performed Hard Kinda Woman, a song written by Matthew Shaw. In November 2011 Charlese and Matt were interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire where Hard Kinda Woman was featured. They also regularly appear and sing live on Impact Radio Charlese continues to perform live with songwriter Matthew Shaw as an acoustic duo singing a mix of creative covers and original songs written by Matthew Shaw. In September 2012 Charlese and Matt launched a new project 'Bobby and Jemima' to separate and promote their original music.
The band are nearing completion of a debut album which will include a mix of originals and creative covers. Fan page with all latest events & info http://www.facebook.com/bobbyandjemima The two songs featured on last.fm Soulfriend and Turn on Them Lights are written by Matthew Shaw. Free tracks available for download http://www.charlese.co.uk Fan Page with all latest events & info http://www.facebook.com/CharleseMusic Other links: http://www.youtube.com/charleseallen http://www.myspace.com/charleseallen http://www.twitter.com/charleseallen http://charleseblog.tumblr.com/ http://www.facebook.com/bobbyandjemima http://www.youtube.com/bobbyandjemima http://www.twitter.com/bobbyandjemima Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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