Charlene Bradley on Guardians of the Galaxy, Glinda and Girls Rock

A Community Team Manager for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Charlene Bradley is “a 30-something-year-old woman living in Antrim but a country girl from Upperlands at heart.”

Charlene Bradley

“The last number of months have been challenging but my team are an inspiration and I’m proud of all the work they have done during these challenging times,” she said.

“In my spare time I like to prance around the stage with Fortwilliam Musical Society and Kaleidoscope – something I’ve really missed. I’m also in a four-piece band ‘Alumna’ with my Girls Rock gang Aisling, Karishma and Stef. During lockdown we recorded a few pieces to support charities such as Girls Rock School, She Sells Sanctuary and Women’s Aid.

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“We were asked by other musicians to take part and we loved the experience of recording remotely. Covid 19 has been challenging to the Arts and there has been a real lack of recognition given to it, considering it is a big part of our society and culture. I know so many talented musicians/performers out of work with no light in sight. It’s really sad that this sector continues to be neglected.

Charlene Bradley

“Whilst Alumna haven’t been able to practice together, we have been writing new songs and hope to get back into the recording studio soon to make some noise.”

Q. What is your favourite song/album and why?

A. My favourite song has to be Annie Lennox’s ‘Little Bird’. Every time it comes on, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing, I get into Annie mode and then I’m hooked on Annie for weeks. My favourite album has to be Rumours by Fleetwood Mac - this album is wonderous and nothing compares to it on my playlist.

Q. What is your favourite film and why?

Charlene Bradley

A. I am a movie buff and watch way too many but my favourite has to be Dirty Dancing. ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ gets me every time. Being a Marvel Geek, I have to say Guardians of the Galaxy is my favourite of the lot but it think that is because of the 80s and 90s bangers.

Q. What is your favourite piece of classical music and why?

A. It has to be Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1. It was the first piece of classical music I ever heard. It oozes sophistication and I listen to it when I feel the need to slow down.

Q. Who is your favourite artist and why?

A. My favourite artist is a local artist Terry Bradley. I just love his work and I’m gathering up quite a collection. My favourite most recent piece is ‘No Regrets’.

Q. What is your favourite play and why?

A. Macbeth. It was the first play I ever saw and read. It takes me right back to my teenage days as I studied it in school. Nothing beats a bit of nostalgia.

Q. What is your favourite musical and why?

A. None other than ‘Wicked’. I’ve been lucky enough to see it on Broadway and the West End. I love it as it’s fun and has lots of sparkle. I got to play the part of Glinda at a musical night for Fortwilliam Musical Society singing ‘Popular’ as I pranced about in a pink dress and tiara.

Q. What is your most special moment in the arts and why?

A. My special moment was getting on stage last February in the Empire Music Hall with my music buds Alumna. We joined as part of Girls Rock School Northern Ireland - it was a special moment as I’d dreamed of singing on that stage and to get to do it surrounded by special people was the icing on the cake.

Q. What ‘classic’ just doesn’t do it for you?

A. Now that is a hard question but I’m not a fan of River Deep Mountain High’ by Tina Turner. Maybe that is because Tina wrote it with Ike but it gets a skip every time.

Q. What have you been reading/watching/listening to/revisiting during the Coronavirus period?

A. I’ve been reading some interesting books but the most captivating one was Clodagh Dunlop’s Return to Duty. Clodagh is an inspirational woman and I got strength from reading her book and I highly recommend it.

I think I’ve seen every series available to stream but my favourite has to be The Crown - I absolutely love it. Second to that has to be Sex and the City - I’ve rewatched them all again.

When the first lockdown came into effect, I was going through some major life changes and recovering from a long illness so I took to gardening and it really was good for the mind and soul. It did help that the sun was shining but my garden has never looked as good.

I got introduced to singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy during lockdown and I have to say I’m hooked. I had been recommended Dermot a number of years ago but only got to fully appreciate his talent this year. I will definitely be looking for a ticket to a show once Covid rules lift.