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Despite their gargantuan size on the music circuit the Charlatans have always found time and derived pleasure from helping out those just starting. From getting Faris Badwan of ‘The Horrors’ to draw the cover for their album ‘You Cross My Path’ to a producing debut working on Hatcham Social’s album and hand-picking relatively new bands for his Isle of Wight stage including SCUM and Poppy and the Jezebels.

We caught up with a few people who have been supported along the way by Tim Burgess and some others who just love the band to ask them what their standout moments and favourite tracks of the band have been:

“Long before the internet made it possible to know every detail about your favourite band, kids had to wait eagerly for their favourite bands to come and play in their little town. I grew up in Middlesborough and almost no good bands played there when I was growing up. The Charlatans however were an exception. My teenage mind was blown when I saw genuine stars on stage, after that night everyone in my school started a band. For over 20 years they have continued to inspire and evolve, that is why they remain exciting and relevant today.”

Dan Wilson / Televised Crimewave

“My favourite Charlatans Album is the eponymous 4th album (The Charlatans) and was my real introduction to the band. I got it for Christmas one year and ended up falling in love with it. I learned a lot about songs from that album. I think there are a few reasons why I fell for it so much, mainly though I think the sound of it is great; it’s got a very aggressive and stark sound.  There seems to be very little studio tomfoolery going on and you can really hear all the instruments. Apart from that obviously the fact that it starts with this massive chant of Nine Acre Court and then follows onto the a track listing that includes, Just Lookin, Crashin In, Here Comes The Soul Saver, Just When Your Thinking Things Over (and I could add some more), makes this one of my all time favourite albums and the chant of that years adventures. That’s why when we got to work with Tim on our Debut record I really knew we could trust his judgements; the man is a great songwriter.”

Toby Kidd / Hatcham Social

“Like most people, I was drawn into the Charlatans world through ‘Indian rope’ and later ‘The only one I know’, the album encapsulated and complimented both these tunes and also provided me with my favourite ‘White Shirt’. It was the melodic and harmonic simplicity driven by swirling organ and tambourine pulse which pulled me in. The warmth of the backing, along with Tim’s vocal’s sat just perfectly with my summer at the time.

Some friendly was one of five albums I still listen to which set me off on my own musical journey, through writing, drumming, remixing, Djing, guitar playing, piano playing this album still sits strongly in influence.

The only thing left to ask is when is ‘Me in time’ getting a rerelease? (An EP between ‘some friendly’ and ‘between 10 and 11th) I still got the 12″.”

Adam Ficek / Babyshambles

“Yeah man my favourite track has to be either ‘Just When You’re Thinking Things Over’ or ‘Just Lookin’ I reckon. I used to buzz on them. Tim burgess is one cool geezer.”

Jon McClure / Reverend and The Makers

“Our favourite track at the moment is ‘Oh! Vanity’, it’s got a really cool video where Tim looks about 18, and has a bit of a young Ian McCulloch thing going on! The organ riff and drums remind me of ‘Time is Tight’ by Booker T & The MGs, and that’s gotta be good!

Poppy and the Jezebels

“We love the track “Oh! Vanity” for two very different reasons. The first is simply one of the best shared memories that we have as a group. We’d just put on a gig with lots of our favourite bands for In The City and Tim had DJ’d for us at the party afterwards. On the spur of the moment Ryan played ‘Oh! Vanity’ and Hannah persuaded Tim to dance. It seemed to just capture a moment for all of us. Like a photograph or a scene in a favourite film. The song has such a timeless feel. The second was reading the explanation of the lyrics. Tim had decided to leave his wayward ways behind a few years ago and it was vanity that helped him along the way. Once I’d stopped living the way I was, I started to feel better and people commented that I was looking better. Vanity became the spur for carrying on and staying away from what I’d been doing” – either as a way of keeping you on the path you should be on or just one of the best records to dance to, it’s got the lot.”

Same Teens

‘Why I Love The Charlatans’ by Clint Boon of Inspiral Carpets and XFM

“The reason why the Charlatans have enjoyed such a long and prolific career is that they’ve never been afraid to break away from the public’s perception of what they should do next. If they’d carried on merely replicating the gorgeous baggy psychedelia of debut album, ‘Some Friendly’, they’d have fallen by the wayside long ago. All the great bands tend to go through this constant metamorphosis.

From album to album they’ll explore new sounds and styles. Singer, Tim Burgess, will happily shed his current singing style or visual image to enjoy a different one. Always looking and sounding totally comfortable in his chosen guise.

And in Tim, the Charlatans have got one of the Great British front men… magnetic, charismatic, cute and sexy, and the nicest rock star you’ll ever meet.

The early Charlatans tracks ‘Indian Rope’ and ‘Then’ etc are time capsules giving the listener a perfect taste of the time they were created but still sounding cool as f**k in the present time.

Later outings see them exploring their many influences including the likes of Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield and more recently, New Order, but always, you can tell it’s the Charlatans.

Having the Charlatans around has always given me a great degree of comfort. They’re not just a British pop music institution; they’re a truly brilliant band.  Knowing they’re around is like knowing your central heating is in good shape and your home will be warm when you get in tonight. That’s probably the strangest analogy I’ve ever written. But that’s the Charlatans. Them being different makes us feel different. Long live the Charlies!”


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Team Zavvi

Team Zavvi


A collection of thoughts, opinions and news from the staff at Zavvi.