Live Review: The Charlatans

The Charlatans

P1040947Delamere Forest, Cheshire, 7th July 2013

It was 2007 the last time The Charlatans played Delamere Forest and it was a sell out, not only was it is a sell out it was a wash out. Fans were on high alert and weather watching for this year’s event desperate to see the band and the support acts during a sunny day rather than being soaked through. Even during the days before the gig lead singer, turned weatherman, Tim Burgess, could be found posting the weather report which showed nothing but high temperatures and sunshine a plenty. Yes, it was going to be the hot ticket, in more ways than one.

I won’t lie we didn’t go to see the support acts, a little thing called The Wimbledon Tennis Finals were on and Rosie and I really aren’t very fond of The View. We timed our arrival just right with time to say hi to some friends and get into the front crowd before the main attraction took centre stage.

To say it was hot in there is an understatement but it all added to the atmosphere. It wasn’t even dark when the band came on and thrust straight into the perfect set opener; Forever. Martin Blunt just totally nailed the bass line on this when he wrote it. No time to warm up the already sweaty crowd, it was straight in arms flailing and I’m not sure it actually ever stopped.

By the time the band piped up with North Country Boy even I was a little grateful to the people who didn’t want to drink their beer but to drop it/throw it all over me, anything to try and cool down during what is always undoubtedly one of the busiest craziest songs to be down the front for.

What with nearby Jodrell Bank playing host to New Order I wondered how fans of both bands would decide to play this one. It was a no brainer for lots of people it seems, or perhaps some people tossed a coin, but with only 50 odd tickets left on sale during the day I’m sure the band were pleased with the turn out. It also goes to show that after such a long career, and despite the last time being oh so soggy, that this band’s fans still turn out, even in the pouring rain, or scorching sun.

Fans were rewarded too fortim delamere their choice. With a set that included songs that span the band’s career this really was the time for fans to guess what would come next from the pick n mix of greatest hits and album treats. My personal highlight of the night was when  Martin (again!) played the first few notes of Toothache and I let out a bit of a loud yelp. This song has absolute swagger, a really sexy sound and some of Tim’s most bonkers lyrics (“no milk in the back of my mouth”.)

But it was the biggies that gave me the biggest bruises I think: The classic The Only One I Know, Mark’s guitar led North Country Boy, and Tellin Stories, the colossus sound of everyone all in that is One To Another and the set closer Sproston Green (an actual place but a mere 30 minute drive from where we stood) as well as Tony’s Hammond driven Oh Vanity.

Tim seemed quiet up on stage, not very chatty but then who wants chit chat when you can have more songs? Cricket whites? tennis whites? who cares it was his stage and he commanded it well, using his hands to jeer up the all ready rowdy crowd, and every now and then to wave at people. A particularly nice, and poignant, moment was when he introduced stand in  drummer Pete Salisbury and then the rest of the band. Pete was there to sit in for Charlatans founding member and drummer Jon Brookes who was too ill to perform following follow up treatment having had a brain tumour in 2010. Although it’s never the same without Jon there it’s still his band and they did him proud as did his fans. Tim also dedicated the last song to him a very fitting ending to a very enjoyable show.

Yes, so this is my favourite band and yes, I’m going to say it was awesome, but I’d like to find a person who went who didn’t enjoy it. Roll on Kendal Calling.

The Charlatans played:

Just When You’re Thinking Things Over
North Country Boy
Oh Vanity
Just Lookin
Jesus Hairdo
Blackeded Blue Eyes
A Man Needs To Be Told
The Only One I Know
Can’t Get Out Of Bed
Bad Days
Tellin Stories
This Is The End
One To Another

_ _ _

Sproston Green

2 Responses to “Live Review: The Charlatans”
  1. Sinead says:

    Dear Popped Music,

    I see that you attended The Charlatans concert last year at Delamere Forest (great pictures by the way). Can I ask whether you witnessed a fight there? I am appealing for witness statements. Really sorry to bother you.

    Kindest Regards,


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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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