Photo: Paul Skelton
Rock City, Nottingham
December 8 2015
Words: Izzy B
The Charlatans rock in to Nottingham with all the fuss and excitement as if they were a fresh-faced boyband new off the blocks rather than a band who first formed 27 years ago (along the way weathering the loss of keyboard player Rob Collins in 1996, and Jon Brookes two years ago) and are now on their 12th studio album. And tonight at Rock City with ex-Verve drummer Peter Salisbury on drums, they showed that their longevity has been down to more than mere luck.
Taking to a highly coloured stage that encompassed enough visual effects to rival Christmas time in Lapland, and smoke machines billowing out enough haze almost as if trying to disguise the fact that the now considerably middle-aged band members (despite the dyed blond pudding bowl mop of frontman Tim Burgess) could almost pass for the fathers of many of the twentysomethings in the crowd.
'Talking In Tones' - from this year's new album, 'Modern Nature' - opens the night, with Burgess grabbing an audience shot with his phone at its start. Dipping into the past via the likes of 'Weirdo' with its familiar opening organ riff and tight energy rhythms, the catchy Britpop vibe of 'North Country Boy' and then veering bang into the present with 'Let The Good Times Be Never Ending', 'In The Tall Grass' and the bouncy bassline hooks of 'So Oh' - that still lend it a West Coast (US) feel - the Charlatans didn't fail to live up to expectation.
It was, however, the band's older material that really set alight the crowd tonight, with the big all-together-now in 'The Only One I Know' just about taking the City roof off.