Paul Bowe In Conversation About New Federal Charm

Paul Bowe In Conversation About New Federal Charm

Paul Bowe In Conversation About New Federal Charm


BD: Paul thank you for taking time to chat with Bluesdoodles once again. It was back in 2016 before the Roadstars tour that we last talked and a lot has happened in the Federal Charm world since then.

BD: Since that tour and the release of the acoustic album, things went quiet and we were not seeing or hearing much about Federal Charm. Now you are back on the road with a mix of keeping the old and bring in the new. With vocalist Tom Guyer & drummer Josh Zahler joining the mainstay of yourself and LD Morawski on Bass. Has the change of band members altered/developed the Charm’s sound? Are you still Nu-Blues or more rock?
PB:  When the tour ended we never expected to replace Nick. It has been a crazy time. The sound will be a melding of blues and rock. In fact, it is our sound on steroids. Federal Charm has gone through an unexpected period of development. With new members in Federal Charm, we have worked hard introducing the new band to sing the old songs which are favourites with the fans. It has been hard work getting the ball back rolling. It was for me so difficult to see Nick go. Tom Guyer is younger 23/24 his voice is insane and his talents are immense. His voice is unique very different from Nick, a cross between Plant & Cornell. It is taking Federal Charm in a new direction old numbers from previous albums sound different. Silhouette, for example, has been taken to a new place. I didn’t expect this, I wasn’t looking for either. The sound is really good it is heavier but still definitely melodic and rootsy inspired rock.

We still have the Fender / Les Paul combination and that is not going to change it was and still is my vision of Federal Charm. With Tom and Josh in the band it feels a lot easier they are not replacing Nick and Danny but new members with new ideas. There was no planning Nick leaving it was something he had to do we are still good friends. I feel that Nick leaving and Tom coming in there must be a reason for it. We had just finished the Planet Rock Tour, we were at a peak. Planet Rock had picked us up. The stress was mounting and it was just a step too far for Nick – too much.

Paul Bowe In Conversation About New Federal Charm

BD: Has the change of personnel and the change of management had a positive effect on the band?
PB: Yes, it has had a positive effect the dynamics have changed. Federal Charm we believe have not reached our full potential and this Spring tour plans for 2018 and the new album. Federal Charm has the potential to reach the heights with the right chances and packaging. To succeed bands need internal harmony; we have that and the talent. Federal Charm like many bands have loads of talent and motivation. It is hard work and difficult to get to know each other and the new line-up is determined to break the barrier. We are going to continue to work hard and rise above the challenges the new members have given us the extra kick and energy required. Opening for bands last year was an opportunity to road-test the new line up with new material and old favourites. It was good fun, introducing the sound to new audiences. It is amazing you open for a band and gets to play to new audiences. Nice surprise to see new people even when you have played the same venue many times before. Federal Charm produced two albums over five years from 2013.   Now we have a third album in the pipeline, due to be released late autumn 2018. We have new management and April Tour dates which are about telling people we are back out playing live. We have some summer festivals and an exciting new tour that will be announced very soon. So lots happening at Federal Charm so keep checking we have news.   So yes the change of drummer and vocals is a development of the sound and very positive.

BD: Federal Charm is back on the road with a headlining tour this Spring following the success of high profile support slots through 2017. Why should fans of the old Federal Charm and gig-goers who have not caught up with you yet make a slot in their diaries this Spring when you visit Norwich, Bristol, Manchester & Newcastle.?
PB: To meet the new Federal Charm. It is different.  So do come and support us and hear old songs and the chance to hear music from the forthcoming album. We will entertain you with rootsy rock and our charming style. Federal Charm is determined to be noticed in 2018 and these four gigs are the starting point. Catch up with the new sound now.

BD: Federal Charm is back in the studio making album number three and the first with the new line-up. Will the album be crammed with new gems form Federal Charm? Will we be hearing new tracks when you are on the road?
PB: The new album is completely Federal Charm – mark 2. Twelve fresh tracks full of new gems. The previous two albums (Across The Divide & Federal Charm) were deadline albums. This new album we are taking time so some of the songs are what Nick & I wrote in 2016. Into this mix, we now have Tom on vocals having taken over the role eighteen months ago. We have a demo and worked on each song, it is a meticulously produced album. Yes, the show will be a mix of half old numbers and half new tracks. There will be the first single from the album with video out in March heralding the album.

BD: Talking about the album, have you a title and release date for an album which I am sure that your fans are waiting for with anticipation. Will the album be guitar led or vocally led by your new singer?
PB: Title not been decided, ideas have been bounced about. And discussed. We know what the album will look like and have two or three ideas. We have time the album will be out in Autumn and everything is being considered not rushed. The album will make great Christmas presents! Narration for the album is informed by 2017 it was a complicated year with Nick then Danny leaving who I have known for twenty-five years. It was right for them to leave. 2017 was an extremely difficult year. It cannot be taken for granted how long it takes to rebuild, putting the band back together, it cannot be rushed. Last December we ended on a high with a gig with Slade. Then January 4th I was left thinking where do we go from here what happens next.

BD:   Talking about the album, who is the main songwriter on the album and are there any influences that are shaping the album?
PB: The album is balanced every track has a different character. You hear the sound of Federal Charm throughout the album. Tom’s vocals are very powerful in a different way from Nick’s vocals. Nick can never be replaced he had unique vocals, the highlight was when we opened for Mott The Hoople at Shepherds Bush when Mick Ralphs said to Nick his voice was the best thing he had heard since Paul Rogers. When you are compared to one of your heroes it is a moment that will always be a highlight in your life.

This album is more collaborative. LD has been involved with lots of ideas unbeknown to us. On his computer, he had loads of ideas and patterns on file musical sketches gathered over the years. So I had the brief for deciding if using the ideas if not immediately Federal Charm sound then it goes into the bin. Some of the ideas and patterns are amazing in fact I wish I had thought of them. Josh our drummer has a freedom of expression tasteful with a great groove. This is a new beginning, new start for Federal Charm.  Outside influences, I do listen to a lot of music and all of the band members have different tastes. I tend not to seek out new stuff Josh is into funky Motown sound and Tom loves Rock N Roll currently raving about Leeds based band Fizzy Blood. These influences inform the music but we are always looking to produce the sound that defines Federal Charm.

BD: Last time we chatted we heard about the band of your choice this time what music will be on the tour bus keeping you entertained travelling from town to town?
PB: For me, it will be the music of the sixties and seventies, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, in fact, all of their albums. Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Wishbone Ash – Argus album. Everyone gets a chance to play their choice of music on the bus as we travel. We have different tastes so makes for an interesting mix.


Paul Bowe In Conversation About New Federal Charm

Silhouette Federal Charms Single Gets Airplay

Silhouette Federal Charms Single Gets AirplaySilhouette Federal Charms Single Gets Airplay



Federal Charm stream new single “Silhouette” . The song features on their Across The Divide album, which launched last year via Wire Sound

Bluesdoodles chatted with Paul Bowe on 7th October the day Silhouette was released this is what he had to say —-BD: Do you have a favourite/ special track on the album? And why?
PB: My favourite has always and remains Silhouette. I love playing it live it gets to me more than anything else we play. The vocal production shapes the meaning of the words. The chorus works so well, every time I hear it or play Silhouette it gives me goose bumps. When I play the song live I hear what we were trying to achieve in the studio and look forward to playing it every night.

BD: This brings us neatly onto the single, Silhouette being released on 7th October what are your hopes for the single?
PB: I am obviously delighted that Silhouette is being released as a single showcasing Across The Divide and our music. What an opportunity with air play on Planet Rock and a video that is being made this Saturday exciting times.

Read the rest of the interview HERE

Listen to the single below. The band have issued the track to mark their upcoming UK tour with SIMO and Aaron Keylock, which is due to get underway at The Talking Heads in Southampton on November 16.

Silhouette is a track where Nicks vocals are full of power and have a forsaken quality as our two guitars lick up the blues with some gritty overtones. Read across The Dived Album Review HERE

For Tour Details checkout dates and Venues HERE

Silhouette Federal Charms Single Gets Airplay

In Conversation with Paul Bowes Federal Charm

In Conversation with Paul Bowes Federal Charm

In Conversation with Paul Bowes Federal Charm



BD: Thankyou Paul for taking time this afternoon to talk about Federal Charm, Across The Divide and forthcoming Roadstars Tour

BD: Let’s start with the description of Nu-blues as Federal Charm approach to the music and how important is the Blues to the band

PB:  Federal Charm has always been grounded in the blues both Nick and myself have blues ingrained in our approach to the music we play and write. Nick plays his guitar with a blues vibe and I have always loved rock from the sixties and every decade since.  Federal Charm is a marriage of rock and blues developing the blues seed at the heart of rock. Nick is definitely the blues element his vocals have a Paul Rogers tone whereas my guitar is harder and rockier. From day one we have mixed the two it was not intentional it was how we played and thought. All rock music has a foot in the blues we never set out to have blues specifically in the album but blues comes naturally. Nu-blues is a modern wording of the re-working of the essence of blues through rock and beyond.


BD: Tell our readers about the inspiration of the album and what’s behind the title and the album cover.
Across The Divide is an album that crosses across rock and blues. It is Federal Charm’s interpretation of the songs we write. We had some of the tracks at the back-end of our debut album, they just didn’t feel right to be included on our debut. So the opening two tracks Master Plan and Guess What shaped our second album.
We had the making of the album all planned. We decided that we would hire a mansion for a fortnight get together, work together and immerse ourselves in the process. That was the plan, but you know what happens to plans they often go wrong. We arrived at the mansion it all fell through, we had to leave due to restrictions on the building use due to nesting bats! BD: There has to be a song in that story.

So we uprooted to a studio in Manchester it was more like a cupboard it was an unsettling period. Then the deadline loomed and we had to plan the whole album in two weeks. That focused our attention and it was frantic. We got inspiration from experiences and list of ideas we all shared. Nick’s writing in the last twelve months has been deeper and more personal with ballads.

The idea for the album cover came as we were sitting in our cupboard in an old mill in Ancoats, we looked out after a guitar solo and saw someone shooting up heroin in the carpark. It was a tough/dark scene I approached Brian our art designer and said we want something dark piercing the divide, emotional like the ships that are beached hundreds of miles inland due to the seas having receded creating the Siberian Salt Desert. These scenes of desolation fascinate me, things in the wrong place. Brian came up with the art and it fitted the album.  Full of interest a story that unfolds differently for everyone who sees the cover and listens to our music.


BD: Do you have a favourite/ special track on the album? And why?
My favourite has always and remains Silhouette. I love playing it live it gets to me more than anything else we play. The vocal production shapes the meaning of the words. The chorus works so well, every time I hear it or play Silhouette it gives me goose bumps. When I play the song live I hear what we were trying to achieve in the studio and look forward to playing it every night.


BD: This brings us neatly onto the single, Silhouette being released on 7th October what are your hopes for the single?
I am obviously delighted that Silhouette is being released as a single showcasing Across The Divide and our music. What an opportunity with air play on Planet Rock and a video that is being made this Saturday exciting times.

BD: Back on UK Tour with Planet Rock, Roadstars three bands all interpreting the blues tell us about your hopes for this tour and playing Planet Rockstock?
 Yes very excited touring as part of the Roadstars with SIMO, and Aaron Keylock. Before that we have a few warm up shows so it is back playing the music we love to play and venues once again. The Roadstars will be an interesting mix SIMO and Aaron Keylock are both signed to Mascot and bring guitar led blues. Federal Charm is the only four piece and are more groove than lead breaks more classic rock so the three bands will be a great mix.  Playing at Rockstock is exciting as well getting plenty of notice with Gig Cartel and Planet Rock promoting the shows.

BD: So what are Federal Charm’s Plans for 2017 and beyond?
 More tours, festivals and new album currently exploring the concept then it will be back into the studio.

BD: Anything else you would like to sell to old and new fans?
Yes, come hear us with Roadstars as we tour the country and buy the album Across The Divide.  We are recording on Tuesday with Nicky Horne from Planet Rock as part of a show on Sky Vintage T.V. to be aired before the end of the year.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
 Now that is interesting so many people to consider

Drums: John Bonham
Vocals: Chris Cornell
Guitar: Ritchie Blackmore
Bass: John McVie
This is a band with no middle ground.

Federal Charm Band Members

Paul Bowe: Guitar
NickBowden: Vocals and Guitar
LD Morawski: Bass
Danny Rigg: Drums

In Conversation with Paul Bowes Federal Charm


Read what Bluesdoodles thought about this 9 paws album




On Tour with the Roadstars

Roadstars - Simo

Federal Charm Touring Live Crossing The Divide

Federal Charm Touring Live Crossing The Divide


Federal Charm Touring Live  Across the Divide

Federal Charm are back on the bounce in June with their own ‘Crossing The Divide’ tour. 17 dates stretching out from June 10th ’til July 23rd. Headlining each show each night and playing a 90-minute set per night minimum, supporting the release of ‘Master Plan’ from the acclaimed new album ‘Across The Divide’.

Lauded for the punchy attack of their debut, this feisty Manchester quartet continue their mission to take their genre of choice to the next level. What you get is no-holds barred, fiery, inventive rock’n’roll. Inevitably, Free and Led Zeppelin are still major touchstones – which is no bad thing at all but the focus is on stretching out and loosening up.

The dual guitar work of Nick Bowden and Paul Bowe is intricate and polished, with Bowden’s vocal way defying conventional range and Bowe’s showmanship enjoyably captivating. The two guitar prodigies are ably assisted by the rhythm section of bassist L.D Morawski and Danny Rig on drums.

2015 was a very fine year for Federal Charm, their second album ‘Across The Divide‘ was released and met with critical acclaim both here and abroad, Classic Rock describe it as “No holds barred, fiery, inventive rock ’n’ roll” and Fireworks state “Across The Divide is huge – in sound and in talent. Nothing short of ear-candy”

UK shows with Black Star Riders, Joanne Shaw Taylor and UFO and slots on the main stage at the Minehead Giants of Rock, The Rock & Blues Festival in Skegness, and at Hard Rock Hell 9 in Pwllheli sealed a definitive year for the Manchester born ensemble.2016 is shaping up in a similar manner with Giants Of Rock (again), a Planet Rock sponsored UK tour in March with Australian rockers Tracer.

Across The Divide’ – ‘Guess What’ – play-listed at Planet Rock for 6 week. ‘Master Plan’

will be released to coincide with the ‘Crossing The Divide’ tour.
















TICKETS : Available HERE for

Federal Charm Touring Live  Crossing The Divide

In the spirit of brotherhood and good intentions, Federal Charm have stretched out a hand and offered a leg-up to local support acts where possible. Night-by-night young budding bands will open the show.

Federal Charm reaching Across The Divide Album Review

Federal Charm reaching Across The Divide Album Review

Federal Charm reaching Across The Divide Album Review

The quartet from Manchester leaping the gigantic hurdle, the release of a follow-up album to the well-received debut and self-titled album. Many miles on the road has been covered since then. The result is an accomplished album, from a band that is determined to reach Across The Divide and take the blues infused ambience into the rock arena. The album achieves that spanning the genres by simply stating we are a band that plays music that connects to your soul it isn’t pure blues or rock but an artful blending and reworking to create a sound that is recognizable as Federal Charm‘s own brand of British Rock n’ Roll.

They have a Master Plan, and it is laid down with a deep groove of rock intent on the opening number. The guitar lays down a determined call to arms to join the charming plan as the drums, bass and vocals pick up the rock and hurls it with melodic power. The tempo cools with Guess What, do not be surprised with the variety and quality the band are going to play for you over the next nine tracks. Nick Bowden’s vocals are full of texture, adapting, reshaping themselves with natural ease for rock, funk, blues and emotionally charged ballads. The band is tight with another layer of guitar chords adding to the blistering energy from Paul Bowe. The engine house of the band, the rhythm section, gives a mixture both a platform of stability and intuitive feel to ensure the rhythm is never wooden. Thanks to the pairing of LD Morawski on bass and drummer Danny Rigg. Federal Charm a quartet that deserves being listened to both on the Live Scene and when recorded in a studio.

These Four Walls is beautiful. The production sympathetic letting the emotions flow. A superb slower bluesy number packed with lyrics that paint a picture of sadness, hope and what makes a home. This is a track that should be getting loads of radio play as it cuts across genres, listenable and full of melodic harmonics. The guitar break is plaintive and sharp it hurts as it hits your emotional responses deep in your music solar plexus. How do you follow a thing of beauty as they sing this is a house that used to be a home fades away? Easy, harden the tone up have some fuzzy, sleazy dirty guitar riffs and pick up the beat with Hercules. Ringing in the change is no herculean feat for Federal Charm as they reach easily Across The Divide. Half way through it is time for a country infused party, perfect accompaniment when celebrating the barn being raised, the harvest gathered in as the banjo kicks out a jaunty lick. Good time music that makes you smile.

Federal charm throughout their sophomore album combines skilful guitar licks, riffs and led breaks with sharp hooks for Nick’s vocals to pick up the mood and drive the musical conversation forward with lyrical storytelling. The mournful restrained approach to God, Forsaken shapes every tone of bitter grey into musical form. The bands power is condensed into a viscous grey melee then brightens as the tempo picks up and the lighter shading of grey is revealed.

The album draws to a close The Thrill, as this album continues to send shivers of thrilling music coursing through your veins. They have control and the influences are wide and lightly touch the sound that is essentially Federal Charms Rock. Closing with a ballad that is full of wistfulness, hurt and the pain of when someone puts one foot in front of another as they Walk Away from you. The beat goes on and Federal Charm are definitely on a trajectory where they reach Across the divide and are heard for the music they produce not some artificial genre boundary.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Federal Charm – Across The Divide

Track Listing 

  1. Master Plan
  2. Guess What
  3. No More
  4. These Four Walls
  5. Hercules
  6. Give Me Something
  7. Silhouette
  8. God, Forsaken
  9. Push
  10. Walk Away (Time & Time Again)