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Charlatans / November and December 2017 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 16th May 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Tim Burgess and Charlatans will be hitting the road this winter in the UK. They’ll be touring in support of their newest album ‘Different Days’, which drops on the 26th of May on BMG. Presale tickets to the shows below (excluding Dublin and Belfast) go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, the 17th of May. The general sale for tickets begins at 10 AM on Friday, the 19th of May. Check out the first single from the album ‘Plastic Machinery’, featuring Johnny Marr and Pete Salisbury, below the tour date listing. To read more on Charlatans on TGTF, go here.

Wednesday 29th November 2017 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 30th November 2017 – Sheffield Academy
Friday 1st December 2017 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Saturday 2nd December 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Monday 4th December 2017 – Glasgow Academy
Tuesday 5th December 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Thursday 7th December 2017 – Leeds Academy
Friday 8th December 2017 – Cardiff University Great Hall
Saturday 9th December 2017 – London Brixton Academy
Sunday 10th December 2017 – Dublin Academy
Monday 11th December 2017 – Belfast Limelight

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6XknAjJe0k[/youtube]

 

Kendal Calling 2016 Roundup (Part 1)

 
By on Wednesday, 10th August 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

In the process of researching for this review (by which I mean spending lots of time in various sunny fields listening to a lot of excellent music and chatting to a lot of talented people), I found myself face-to-face with Andy Smith, a founder of and head honcho at Kendal Calling. Considering the number of priceless moments his event has provided me with over the years – countless superb bands seen; friends, belongings, and marbles found, lost, and then found again; memorable impromptu jams and karaoke sessions – one would hope to do better in summing the whole deal up with a blokey “Cool festival, man.”

So, here is my homage to Kendal Calling, and considering I have more time to prepare it, I shall attempt to be more fulsome than the above. 2016 was the safest, most grown up version of Kendal Calling yet, and though there is plenty I miss about what was subtly different to previous years, all things considered this was the best installment yet. Apart from a shower early on the Thursday, the sun shone consistently throughout the weekend, which makes an enormous difference to one’s perception and enjoyment of a festival. Speaking of Thursday, I can remember when the evening’s entertainment for those hardy souls who volunteered for a pre-festival night’s camping was a bonfire and vintage clothing stall. Not so of late, and it fell to The Charlatans to close the main stage on Thursday. Surely one of the most well-known bands in Britain, the survivors of the baggy scene do make a delightful, funky racket, and if familiarity has dampened their ability to seem truly special, their sheer exuberance, not to mention liberal applications of Hammond organ, always makes them a compelling watch.

There’s more to Thursday night than the main stage anyway. After hours, the Chai Wallahs tent takes the strain of thousands of people looking to start their weekend with a bang. I’d managed to misplace the new campsite friends I’d only known a few hours, leaving them to buy beer only to realise that it’s impossible to find anyone again at Kendal if you’re actually looking for them. Best to go with the flow, meet people who fate wants you to meet, and take it from there. I remember speaking to a couple of guys who’d come up from Brighton, pretty much the farthest distance it’s possible to travel from on the mainland, and proof of Kendal’s nationwide reach. In true get-it-out-of-your-system style, late Thursday evening was spent mooching around various camps, joining in impromptu singalongs, mostly of songs written by a certain Mr Gallagher

Kendal Calling 2016 - Too Many Ts-7915

None of which shenanigans prevents a large crowd gathering first thing in the afternoon for the lively flow of Too Many T’s. I’m personally not sure where these guys have sprung from all of a sudden, but they seem to be all over the place, with a brand of witty hip-pop that’s perfect for an afternoon at a festival. They’ve got a lot of decent tunes that don’t seem to have appeared on record yet. Come on lads, you could have some hits on your hands!

Kendal Calling 2016 - The Big Moon-7964

One of the enormous pleasures of Kendal Calling is the undercard in the Calling Out tent, or what should actually be called the New Favourite Bands tent. The Big Moon are four girls from London who make a brilliant racket, perfectly poised between sweetly innocent melodies and flip-the-bird punkiness. There’s such hooks here that even on the first listen to something like ‘Cupid’, it’s impossible not to sing along in raucous joy. Brilliant stuff. And so to our first band of the day that have actually released an album. Hooton Tennis Club betray their Merseyside origins with lazy yet rock-steady beats, some lovely discordant guitar work and jaunty lyrics. Like early Blur crossed with the Lemonheads. And they’ve got an amazingly enthusiastic bass player. Who doesn’t want that?

Kendal Calling 2016 - Hooton Tennis Club-8024

Manchester’s Gideon Conn was a highlight of my festival last year, and he’s back this with a longer set, except he doesn’t seem to know he’s actually got a full hour to showcase his delicately funky looped observational pieces, so his set climaxes about 15 minutes too early. No matter, because all the ingredients are still present and correct. His wordplay is second to none, and despite the sparse arrangements (keyboard, guitar, occasionally at the same time) he really can get a crowd going. Particularly when he ventures over the barrier and sings amongst the crowd. This year he ended up on someone’s shoulders in a particularly wobbly-looking shoulder lift. At least some random out of the crowd didn’t get hold of the microphone again. Despite the confusion there’s still nothing quite like a Gideon Conn set. Or Gideon Conn, for that matter – one is quite enough for this world.

Kendal Calling 2016 - Gideon Conn-8031

Catfish and the Bottlemen are astonishingly popular. I was told countless times by people that they’d bought tickets simply on the strength of their appearance. Van McCann’s words from my chat with him at Kendal a couple of years ago were still ringing in my ears: “I want to be bigger than Oasis.” Well, second on the bill here when Noel himself is headlining (a different day, but still) means that he’s still on the perfect trajectory to achieve his dream. It is difficult to objectively understand exactly what it is that Catfish do that countless bands that have gone before haven’t managed. Perhaps it simply comes down to the charisma of the frontman, because despite how well the songs work on a stage and with a crowd as big as they were blessed with here, what they’re peddling really isn’t anything new. But fair play to them – what next? Breaking America? [Something Oasis never did, did they? – Ed.]

Kendal Calling 2016 - Catfish 2-7290050

Rudimental put on a good show. They’re a big dance band, totally professional, and remind me of Basement Jaxx‘s set on the Friday a couple of years ago. It’s really what the first night of a festival needs: big beats, big tunes, more of which you recognise than you might think, and a really good show. So you wouldn’t think it’s possible for an act to follow that? Step forward the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, led by violinist Joe Broughton. Who, if they haven’t got the prize for the most number of folk musicians on a single stage, really do deserve an honourable mention. A performance of the most remarkable power, primarily down to the sober dedication of the players – faced with a midnight crowd of hyped-up revellers, no mean feat. Their repertoire is varied, but it’s when they really let rip that their true power is unveiled. Bows fly unhinged across strings, a cajon is thwacked within an inch of its life, even the harp player throws a few shapes. There are even a couple of electric guitarists hidden in the middle somewhere, completely disguised by the swarm of instruments around them. This is traditional folk given an enormous shot in the arm. Exactly what it needs. A truly remarkable experience.

Kendal Calling 2016 - Conservertoire Folk Ensemble-7290060

 

Charlatans / December 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 25th August 2015 at 9:00 am
 

Charlatans will round off 2015 with a second run of live dates in the UK this December following their autumn live dates in Europe and America.  The band released their 12th studio album ‘Modern Nature’ back in January and followed the release with a sold out UK tour back in March.  You can find the official video for album track ‘Let The Good Times Be Never Ending’ just below the tour date listing.

Tickets for the following shows will be available starting on Friday the 28th of August at 9 AM.  Previous TGTF coverage of the Charlatans, including their recent appearance at the 6 Music Festival, can be found right back here.

Tuesday 8th December 2015 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 9th December 2015 – Cardiff Tramshed
Friday 11th December 2015 – Norwich UEA
Saturday 12th December 2015 – Birmingham Academy
Monday 14th December 2015 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tuesday 15th December 2015 – Dundee Caird Hall
Thursday 17th December 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 18th December 2015 – Liverpool Academy
Saturday 19th December 2015 – London Brixton Academy

[youtube]https://youtu.be/TI3yayV6vhE[/youtube]

 

Album Review: The Charlatans – Modern Nature

 
By on Wednesday, 28th January 2015 at 1:00 pm
 

Words by Harry Gold

Bridging the gap between Baggy and Britpop in the early ‘90s, the Charlatans were one of many bands that rode the wave of success of the Manchester music scene that developed after the emergence of the Hacienda as a ‘superclub’ in the late ‘80s. Despite offering their own take on the psychedelic swagger of Madchester sound, the easiest way to describe the group’s 1990 debut LP ‘Some Friendly’ would be “The Stone Roses with an organ player”, offering an arguably more accessible and poppy sound. Re-emerging in 2015, The Charlatans seem to have completely remolded themselves, with vocalist Tim Burgess’ Gallagher-esque drawl having seemingly dissipated into something more versatile and wide reaching. The music also appears more expansive, sounding surprisingly cosmopolitan for a group hailing from Northwich.

Stripped down to its bare bones, ‘Modern Nature’ can be described as a record by a West Coast psychedelic rock band with electronic and acid house undertones. This, interestingly, would be also have been a fitting way to describe the band at the height of their success in the ‘90s, making ‘Modern Nature’ a massive sonic departure, but also a remoulding of old influences. While ‘Some Friendly’ was a testament to staying indoors and taking drugs at shady nightclubs, the album as a whole feels like the rediscovery of a world outside of raving and clubbing, a welcome contrast to draw with convoluted modern pop music.

Opening track ‘Talking in Tones’ marks a departure from the electronic groove-led energy of the band’s earlier material, the group appearing to be looking around and appreciating the world around them more rather than focussing exclusively on themselves and their immediate surroundings. The main musical influences are immediately noticeable, with the shadow of the Doors being omnipresent throughout the record, especially on album track ‘Let the Good Times Be Never Ending’. Paired with a drum sound reminiscent of New Order’s ‘The Perfect Kiss’, the group’s Stephen Morris being one of the guest drummers playing on the LP, the band seamlessly merge together sounds originally created decades apart.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLEGsayAXKw[/youtube]

Recent single ‘So Oh’ hints at more contemporary psychedelic wanderings, with the thought of Tame Impala immediately springing to the fore. There are moments when such sunniness seems almost unconvincing coming from a group that have probably only experienced a heat wave once in their lives, living in an otherwise gloomy part of Britain. Beneath the vibrant exterior, the creation of ‘Modern Nature’ feels as though it has occurred alongside the daunting realization that the group has outgrown their old youthful energy and need to “grow up”. The album, as a result, feels like a result of these blind meanderings, a transitory moment for the band as songwriters and musicians, but also as people.

‘Modern Nature’ doesn’t, however, feel like a step into the future, rather a celebration of the past. After the passing of drummer Jon Brookes in 2013, The Charlatans seem to have garnered a new appreciation for life, allowing them to see not only the world around them, but also themselves, in a completely different light. Featuring members of the Verve, Dexy’s and Factory Floor, the record is a celebration of all that has come before, with musicians born generations apart pulling together, marking ‘Modern Nature’ as a key point in the groups career, encapsulating their past into one record so they can move forward into the future.

8/10

‘Modern Nature’, the Charlatans’ 12th studio album to date, is out now on BMG / Chrysalis. The band have lined up a UK tour in March, with many of the dates already sold out.

 

Video of the Moment #1722: Charlatans

 
By on Sunday, 18th January 2015 at 10:00 am
 

Just a little over a week to go before Charlatans‘ hotly anticipated 12th album ‘Modern Nature’ will be released on the 26th of January on BMG Chrysalis. Ahead of the LP’s big day, they’ve pulled the lid of the promo for forthcoming single ‘Come Home Baby’, a ’70s vibey tune with sun shining from behind the shadowy figure of Tim Burgess in the video. Watch the promo below.

Previous Charlatans coverage on TGTF is here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EQJH7uX_LQ[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1679: Charlatans

 
By on Sunday, 16th November 2014 at 10:00 am
 

Tim Burgess and Charlatans have unveiled their latest video – a dreamy, sunny one – this time for upcoming single ‘So Oh’, to drop on the 1st of December. This reveal follows the one-off 7″ single ‘Talking in Tones’, which was released in late September.

Charlatans‘ hotly anticipated 12th album ‘Modern Nature’ will be released on the 26th of January 2015 on BMG Chrysalis.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLEGsayAXKw[/youtube]

 
 
 

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