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Royal London’s surgeon Prof Charlie Knowles scrubs up as a country rock singer

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 March 2019

Prof Charles Knowles... who may not look like a hospital surgeon when he's perfoming Country rock on stage. Picture source: Bowel & Cancer Research charity

Prof Charles Knowles... who may not look like a hospital surgeon when he's perfoming Country rock on stage. Picture source: Bowel & Cancer Research charity

Bowel & Cancer Research charity

Charles Knowles is Professor of Surgery at the Royal London Hospital by day.

The Country rock singer who won't give up his day job at the Royal London. Picture source: Bowel & Cancer Research charityThe Country rock singer who won't give up his day job at the Royal London. Picture source: Bowel & Cancer Research charity

You might just catch him on stage at night with his band as his sideline as a country singer and songwriter.

The singing surgeon’s first single has just been released, The Man You Take for Worse.

Charlie, a leading light in Bowel & Cancer Research charity in addition to his day job as a leading surgeon, wrote the song and is donating any royalties and proceeds to the voluntary organisation.

“We decided that as a band playing the Clash and the Stranglers was great fun—but was impossible finding gigs in London that paid,” the singing professor tells you.

“If there was a light-bulb moment, it was in Texas in 2011. I went to a nightclub where the house band was performing with lead guitar and acoustic guitar and I thought—I could do that.

“Then my lifelong friend and fellow musician Dr Frank Cooke learnt the lap steel guitar and that pushed us into doing some old Nashville classics.”

Charlie is Professor of Surgery at Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University’s London School of Medicine as well as a research director at Whitechapel’s Blizard Institute.

It was in the US that Charlie got the country music bug. He was in a four-piece punk band in London at the time. His foray into pop music began at the age of 16.

“I bought a really cheap electric guitar and tortured those around me with really bad playing on a really bad instrument,” he admits.

said Charlie whose musical heroes include Buddy Holly, Elvis and Gram Parsons.

“My country band in London started in 2016 after meeting a keyboard player who we’d been with in our school band. After 30 years we were still making the same mistakes!”

His EP was produced in Los Angeles by Grammy award-nominated Brandon Friesen and features Chris Condon on guitars and legendary rock legend Stevie Vann Lange with vocalist backing.

Stevie said: “Charlie is funny, intelligent and totally dedicated to everything he does – a real ‘Dr Rock’!”

The Bowel & Cancer charity also praises Prof Knowles for his support who is “not content with an extraordinarily demanding day job” in finding time for his commitment to the charity for almost a decade, yet still managing to follow his passion for Country music.

The Man You Take for Worse is being distributed through iTunes and Amazon, with a video shot in east London on YouTube.


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