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The Charlatans, Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus – Gig Review

The Charlatans
Photo Credit: Rock N Roll Circus.
Words: | June 20, 2022
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Much of the hype surrounding the arrival of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus at Newcastle’s Town Moor was for the legendary Noel Gallagher. However, for the 90s purists, another highlight would be seeing Tim Burgess’ The Charlatans.

They recently crossed the Gallagher brother party lines by also supporting Liam Gallagher at the Etihad Stadium. Alongside this, they also recently embarked on a headline UK tour. On this, they revisited some of the fan favourites and deeper cuts from their lengthy back catalogue.

Aside from Noel Gallagher’s Oasis, the frantic Britpop years are remembered particularly for Blur, Pulp, Suede and countless others. But it’s impossible to reflect on this era without acknowledging the turbulent years experienced and expressed by The Charlatans. Especially considering that they survived this time and continued releasing music well after most of their contemporaries fizzled out.   

Tim Burgess

Some of the excitement for The Charlatans in 2022 may also be traced back to the popularity of ‘Tim’s Twitter Parties’. These saw Tim Burgess live-tweeting while listening through classic albums with guests. This was during the height of the 2020 lockdown, in lieu of live music during this period.

These listening parties exploded in popularity throughout the prolonged lockdown. Many indie fans around the world would accredit Tim Burgess with helping keep them entertained through this period.

Before them were the night’s other support acts, Andrew Cushin and Confidence Man. Then The Charlatans took to the stage with Tim Burgess sporting his iconic yellow jacket.

One To Another

During the hour-long set, The Charlatans treated the crowd to their highlights including the psychedelic ‘Weirdo’. There was also ‘One to Another’ – the classic single from the tragic ‘Tellin’ Stories’. The band were recording this album when founder-member Rob Collins died in a car accident.

The band displayed more echoes of jangly Britpop with ‘Can’t Get Out of Bed’ and ‘Just When You’re Thinking Things Are Over’. Then there was the instantly recognisable organ riff of ‘The Only One I Know’. It harked back to the glory days of Madchester for those of a certain age.

How High

Heading to the end of their set, ‘North Country Boy’ and ‘How High’ brought back a rockier feel to the night. Finally ‘Sproston Green’ from their debut album ‘Some Friendly’ was fondly recognised. This throwback to 90s indie whet the appetite of the crowd ahead of the keenly awaited headliner.

The Charlatans may not have reached the same level of stardom of some of their contemporaries. But they hold onto a loyal fan base and a defiant persistence. This means up to now it is 34 years and counting for one of the last bastions of a beloved era in British music.

Sam Campbell
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