I've loved The Charlatans for a long time, the unsung heroes of the 90's produced 'Some Friendly' one of the greatest albums of all time and it never gets the recognition it deserves. For this tour then I had to get a ticket, especially as Different Days is one of my albums of the year. I had to go and see them in Nottingham as well because they were playing an acoustic gig at Rough Trade, Notts at lunchtime that very day.
The acoustic gig was absolutely wonderful, to be this close to Mark and Tim as they worked their magic playing an alternate version of 'North Country Boy' and 'Different Days'. I was surprised at how perfect Tim Burgess' vocals were, as the Britpop legends aren't exactly known for their harmonious voices, but his vocal performance was pitch perfect in both the morning and the afternoon. Afterwards as well they took part in an album signing and it was a great pleasure to meet the legends themselves and have a quick picture with them. And now my signed copy of Different Days is one of my prized possessions.
Fast forward to my first ever time at Rock City and we were right on the barrier, I was stood exactly centre stage and I could not have asked for a better position at any gig ever. Luckily the worst part of the night took place at the very start, and it started with a pint of lager, that tasted like it had been taken straight from the River Trent, it was flat and horrible.
But the music made up for it, Average Sex were the band on first and they were brilliant. It's gret to see more and more rock bands with female singers these days, and the lead singers performance was great. Having just released a fantastic EP they had some really good material to work towards, and shoutout to the guitarist in Average Sex because he can absolutely shred! If these guys tour again I'd love to go and see them! Disappointed I didn't pick up their EP on vinyl though.
Up next were The Blinders (See picture above). I've been looking forward to seeing these guys for ages, and I already had tickets to see them at The Cookie in february. Their blend of punk rock and bold visceral sounds is something that encapsulated me the moment I heard 'Ramona Flowers' and from there I've listened to all of their music. And their live performance was enticing, the lead singer appeared with smeared mascara down his face and the drummer kept a dead pan face the entire time. And it's at this show I realised how phenomenal their drummer is, arguably one of the best drummers I've ever seen. Hearing 'Brave New World' live was great for me as well.
Then The Charlatans came on, blistering straight into the set, smashing through classic after classic after classic. One of my favourite moments was hearing 'Hey Sunrise' I absolutely adore that song, with it's verse build up and happy feeling. Perfection. But what surprised me was just how lively this gig really was, with 'One To Another' absolutely sending the crowd into a frenzy, and being at the front obviously chaos ensued as people sought to take my place on the barrier. And that's when it dawned on me how loyal The Charlatans' fan base really is. On Twitter I've seen numerous people who've seen them over 10 TIMES!! That's a lot of times to go and see an artist.
But after this gig I understand why. Tracks new and old kept the crowd singing and dancing. But it's towards the end where the room started to get sweaty. 'North Country Boy' & 'One To Another' ensured that nobody stood still throughout the whole gig, with the latter creating one of the craziest crowds I've ever been in. And then Tim walked off only to strut back on in the Sproston Green jumper that was for sale on the merch stand (I wish I'd bought one). And then they burst into Sproston Green, one of the greatest songs ever made and one of the greatest experiences of my life. Thank you The Charlatans. What a night.