When it was announced in early 2005 that Charlie Simpson was leaving teen idol chart sensations Busted to become the rock musician he really had been all along, the world could have been forgiven for an enormous collective heard-it-all-before yawn before despatching Simpson to pop history. After all, Busted were just a manufactured boy band.
That's not quite fair, actually. It's true that Simpson, along with Matt Willis and James Bourne, had responded to a call for talented young musicians placed in the NME a decade ago but all three proved to be skilled vocalists and musicians. Busted sold more than three million records and pocketed two BRIT awards within just a couple of years.
So Simpson was no autotuned automaton lurking in the dry ice, throwing unconvincing shapes whilst the talent took centre stage. Surprisingly, Charlie Simpson is the talent, and centre stage beckoned.
After Busted, came Fightstar - an altogether rockier outfit who quickly earned plaudits from such hallowed places as the offices of Kerrang! After three albums, all of which charted well in the UK, Fightstar announced a two-year hiatus until 2012 and Simpson started work on his solo project.
His debut solo single, Down Down Down - a slice of harmony-driven acoustic rock - is out now with an album, 'Young Pilgrim', set for release in the summer and Simpson has announced five gigs to accompany the new material.
On 30th June he plays the O2 Academy, Newcastle with dates at Birmingham, Manchester and Portsmouth before a final show at the Bristol Academy on Tuesday 5th July.
Tickets start at £10 and are on sale at 9AM on Friday 13th May.