Despite being diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (incurable cancer of the liver) in December 2011, this has not stopped Charlie Lankester working on his own Blues and Rock style music. Far from it! After dropping out of medical school in the seventies, touring with the Australian band The Last Chance Café, and having played the keyboard for twenty years for the likes of Otis Grand, The Boogie Band and The John Warwick All Stars, and playing other people’s songs, Charlie is now ready to hit th big time, and release his first single, ‘The Spinning of the Wheel,’ and his debut album, ‘Song in a Minor Key’ this summer! The single and album release come after Charlie’s free download release of the Southern Gospel cover “In My Time,” which has also been previously covered by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
The “Spinning of the Wheel” is a classic American rock song, reminiscent to the likes of Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith, whereas “In My Time” has a mellow, southern feel to it. The rest of the ‘Song in a Minor Key’ album contain a mixture of rock with a southern Blues vibe, and includes the tracks, Brixton Road, The Real Real Gone, and Greed, all of which you can imagine being played in a Texan bar late at night.
In 2011, Charlie put together his own backing band, ‘The Mojo Killers’ which is made up of guitarists Derek Mandel and Mark Hawkins, bass player Dave Cuthbert, drummer Daniel Howard, plus saxophonist Paul Silver, trumpeter Gavin Broom, and trombone player, Nick Mills. Together, Charlie Lankester and The Mojo Killers create a unique, rhythmic and instrumental concoction of rock-blues that isn’t usually heard of this side of the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, in December 2011, a day before Charlie and the band were supposed to mix the final track of the album in the studio, Charlie was diagnosed with cancer. However, because of this, Charlie says that he is now playing and singing better than ever; “I was feeling so good about the album,” he said, “That when the doctor told me I had only months to live I just laughed and was like, ‘No mate, that's not gonna happen; I've got an album to release!’”
Fired up by the determination to see through the fruition of his new creation, he immediately finished mixing and sought the very best alternative medical advice available to him. The good news is that his tumour has now been reduced by fifty per cent due to a dedicated diet, cancer supplements and high doses of vitamin C.
For the last twenty years (and after going back to medical school in the eighties!), Charlie has practised as an osteopath by day, and has become a much sought after musician at night.
Charlie is headlining The Bedford in Balham on June 19th to preview the release of his single, ‘The Spinning of the Wheel’. You can keep up to date with Charlie on Facebook and you can listen to his music here