The Charlatans

Edinburgh

Usher Hall

14th December

Sound 3 Atmosphere 4.png Performance 5.png

Talking in Tones * Weirdo * North Country Boy * Oh Vanity / Bad Days * So Oh * Tellin Stories * Just When * Trouble Understanding * Blackened Blue Eyes * Let the Good Times * Soul Saver * You’re Not Very Well * Emilie * One to Another * In the Tall Grass * The Only One I Know * Come Home Baby * I Need you to Know, You’re so Pretty  * Sproston Green
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$_86.JPGScotland, Edinburgh, & especially East Lothian, are massive fans of the Charlatans. Its a tremendously family affair whenever they rock into town & despite the gig being on a Monday night, the lovely, large, yet intimacy-retaining, Usher hall was packed. The gig came half way through their second British tour of 2015, ostensibly to support their first studio album in 5 years – Mother Nature. Five years after their gentle songwriting session with Penny Rimbaud, turned into their 11th album, Who We Touch, they resurfaced into the musical ether with the understated but often brilliant electro, psychejazzy sounding ‘Modern Nature.‘ Born somewhat out of the loss of original drummer, Jon Brookes, who died in 2010, of its creation Tim Burgess told the Mumble;
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We’ve been trying to write something since  the beginning really of 2012, after Jon’s death we played a concert at the Royal Albert Hall which was a huge celebration of his life & made everyone feel really kind of good about the future in a way – the album started very small & things would kind of like naturally come – one idea sparked off another idea and you know we ended up with 5 or 6 songs without any drums on it – y’know, quite an interesting way to write, really – I 11feel in many way s that out of all the Charlatan’s albums it fells like the first
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Up in Edinburgh the Mumble team took their seats in the Grand Circle & awaited events. After a DJ set from Ian Rankin & support from youthful fifties-throwback, Maximo-Park-buffered rockiness of Frankie & the Heartbreakers, on strutted the Charlies to deliver a set full of perfect pomp, underneath scenes of stunning digital visuals. New tunes were greeted warmly, while of course the classics were met with rapturous joy.
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It is interesting to see a band of such peterpan longevity mix its new material with old, as you find yourself guessing which of the new tracks will find itself in a future classics set. For me, the whole of Modern Nature is fine counterpoise to the general malaise of proper band music these days, integrating modern soundscapes & poetic feeling into their classic northern sound.
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As a beat group they are part of the new dance rock explosion which is changing absolutely the face of British pop music, & that of Europe & soon the rest of the world  Anthony H Wilson

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For me, a Monday night was perfect for such a concert, when past & present combine in a momentary blend of life’s quintessence. At times I was led in my bath back in Burnley, 1990, listening to Some Friendly as I scrubbed my football dirt from schoolboy legs. At other times I was discussing the merits of the new album’s sound with my girlfriend who enjoyed its summery vibes on this crisp midwinter’s night.

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The band were great, a total 5 star performance as the Charlatans themselves, with blonde-dyed Adonis Tim Burgess strutting his school-disco moves to the effortlessly wonderful miasma made by his boys. The crowd were also great, from the mosh-pit at the front to the kids dancing to that topless geezer – clearly off his head – raving at the back of the Circle with a lager splashing in his hands. The only drawback for me was the sound, which was a bit abrasive at times & a bit muggy, but for genuine emotion & sheer pleasure, it was a great hour & a half.

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Reviewer : Damo Bullen
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