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The Charlatans (pic from http://www.flickr.com/photos/edeidin/)

I arrive at this gig knowing that for once I would be at a show where I was not in the oldest region of the age spectrum. You see a lot of gigs I go to I usually feel out of place because of usually being about 10 or so years older than the rest of the audience, whereas here I was one of the freshest faces in the audience.
Both acts (The Charlatans and Shaun Ryder) have had tracks that have graced indie dance floor and both have also had their fair amount of excesses. Tonight was all about Nineties throwbacks, with Shaun Ryder still striding on his previous band’s hits (with both the Happy Mondays and Black Grape). He still had the swagger that he gave to the baggy Madchester scene and even his new material sounds like he had never left the Happy Mondays.
It’s quite spectacular that the Charlatans have been hanging around for the past 20 years, forming the mainstay of the Nineties Britpop explosion. Along with Oasis, Blur and Pulp the Charlatans were one of the biggest selling indie bands of the decade.
Here they played a fair spectrum of songs from their illustrious career with singer Tim Burgess’ thick mop covering his face as he slinkly moved around the stage, throwing shapes left right and centre. They slayed through a back catalogue of singles including career highlights like One To Another, Weirdo, How High, The Only One I know and North Country Boy each one of the songs came from I different colour of the emotional feeling. Each one triggering off memories of being a geeky spotty 12 year old running around in a fairground. And you could see each member smiling to themselves.
There was an almost joyous feeling that had swept through out the crowd from the first moment to last I could feel myself getting caught up in the psychedelics of it all. The Charlatans are a band which almost perfectly caught the moment in their heyday as a band that lived through it all and managed to come out the other side.

Words: Jeff Johns