Charles, has been a dedicated soul boy from a tender age. In fact, he was raised on the sounds of sweet soul:
"My father came over from Guyana in the West Indies and he brought a load of records over with him. There was always Ray Charles playing in the house, The Platters, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. My Dad would play all this old stuff. In fact I was very close to getting called Otis when I was born! One of my earliest memories is my mum and dad dancing around the kitchen to Ray Charles' I've Got A Woman. I remember the look of sheer joy and exhilaration on their faces. I was hooked!"
After achieving mainstream success with his poetry, and then acting and TV presenting roles in cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, Robot Wars and TV's longest running soap opera Coronation Street - as the taxi driving, soul music fanatic Lloyd Mullaney - Craig's reputation as a fun, funk loving soul boy was cemented with the public. In 2001, as the BBC prepared to launch the new digital radio station BBC 6 Music, he was asked to present a show. Over ten years on from the début broadcast, the show is now the award winning station's longest running, and has the biggest share of audience too, a very impressive result for what was originally thought of as a 'niche' programme!
It wasn't long before promoters of club nights and festivals were asking for Craig to bring his 'Trunk Of Funk' out on the road, and countless DJ slots across the UK and into Europe included; Mostly Jazz Festival, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Kendal Calling and The Big Chill, Vintage at Goodwood and even the world renowned Glastonbury Festival. It was only natural that Craig and Freestyle Records would join forces to bring forth this album album - the closest thing there is to having Craig come round your house and start the party off! Asked to sum up his feelings about his first DJ compilation album and the vibrant global music scene it reflects Craig said:
"This CD contains 19 rip snorting, bass drum banging, brass blaring booga-bloody-loo, big beats, bass lines and blooming brilliant vocals. From as far away as Australia with The Bamboo's ultimate party starter Amen Brother, to The Excitements coming out of Barcelona and some cover versions that have surely got to be better than the real thing, like Nostalgia 77 & Alice Russell'stake on The White Stripes '7 Nation Army'. And T Bird and the Breaks 'The Clap Hands Song', not to mention The Incredible Bongo Bands' skin shredding version of The Rolling Stones 'Satisfaction'. Bands like Smoove & Turrell from the north-east and The Haggis Horns. All these tunes are guaranteed to tear the roof off any venue festival or house party in the known universe.....
1. Amen Brother - The Bamboos
2. Wait a Minute - The Excitements
3. The Clap Hands Song - T Bird & The Breaks
4. Hard Work - Smoove & Turrell
5. Seven Nation Army - Nostalgia 77 ft Alice Russell
6. Insane In The Membrane - Prince Fatty ft Horseman
7. A Time For - Lack Of Afro ft Wayne Gidden
9. Killing - The Apples
10. Singalong - Treva Whateva
11. More Than Dancing - Federation of the Disco Pimp
16. The Snake - Al Wilson
17. Shaft In Africa - The Mighty Showstoppers
18. Dragging Me Down - Speedometer ft Martha High