- 04 Aug 04
It always appeared as though The Charlatans were very much of their time, a paean to the wayward Britpop hedonism of the early nineties, but their live show demonstrates that the songs are as culturally relevant now as they ever were.
To say that Whelan’s is a little packed and sweaty this evening is a bit like saying Hitler was a bit naughty. No doubt the premise of this Bud Rising show is to afford true-blue fans the opportunity to catch one of the true titan bands of the baggy era in an intimate setting, but a larger venue would have at least given revellers some lebensraum to dust off those long-forgotten Bez moves.
As it happens, the Charlatans music with its carnivalesque, larger-than-life sound, positively bounces off the walls. Plucked from a hugely impressive back catalogue for this evening are time-honoured favourites like ‘Weirdo’, with its killer, Wurlitzer-lead riff; ‘North Country Boy’ with its laconic, easy-going manner; ‘I Just Can t Get Over Losing You’ a seldom-aired favourite; ‘A Man Needs To Be Told’, a gentle, lilting indie classic; and ‘Apples & Oranges’ , which if anything, demonstrates that a decampment to LA has done little to soften the Madchester-isms of cherub-faced Tim Burgess.
It always appeared as though the Charlatans were very much of their time, a paean to the wayward Britpop hedonism of the early nineties, but their live show demonstrates that the songs are as culturally relevant now as they ever were.
Far from being a night of reminiscing about Madchester (Ian Brown, in an ironic twist, is performing next door), The Charlatans prove their worth as modern day heavyweights in their own right. Indeed, as the Peter Pans of the Baggy Era, The Charlatans are still more than capable of showing the young bucks how it’s done.
[Photo by Cathal Dawson]