The Charlatans

The Charlatans... High how??

Review: The Charlatans at Hammersmith Apollo

Published on June 29th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Away from all the unintentional breakfast cereal creating and gross-but-novel drug use revealing, Tim Burgess got back to doing what he does best by fronting UK institution The Charlatans as they performed their classic 1997 album Tellin’ Stories in its entirety in front of a rapturous Hammersmith Apollo.

In a year that saw so many of their contemporaries turn in what sounded like paranoid comedowns to the hedonistic tub-thumping of Britpop (see Radiohead’s OK Computer, The Verve’s Urban Hymns, Super Furry Animals’ Radiator, Supergrass’s In It for the Money and Blur’s eponymous effort, not to mention the Pulp’s This is Hardcore the following year), Tellin’ Stories came as a triumphantly beaming bolt from the blue given the problems to have beset the band, most notably the death of keyboardist Rob Collins during recording. With hindsight, this optimistic siege mentality has characterised The Charlatans right through their career, coloured their finest moments and kept onside the likes of those at the Apollo bellowing gleefully along to such thinking man’s anthems as “North Country Boy”, “One to Another” and “How High”.

Re-emerging with a nine-song encore including such well-established favourites as “Weirdo” and the still towering “The Only One I Know”, proceedings are brought to a close in traditional Charlatans fashion with an ecstatic rendition of “Sproston Green”. Still the show goes on – Burgess is set to release a solo album entitled Oh No I Love You on 24th September, featuring contributions from Kurt Wagner and Sean O’Hagan amongst others. Oh, and he’ll be touring the album across the UK in October. Huzzah!

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.