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THE CHARLATANS (Artist of the Week #2)

For fans of:
The Stone Roses, Suede, Echo & The Bunnymen

Like I said in the previous post, this series isn't just about the unsigned and up and coming. It's just whatever music I'm feeling at the moment. And at the moment I've really been in love with The Charlatans, more specifically, how often they've reinvented themselves. It's very brave to reinvent yourself and release an album that comes completely from the left-field but it's also very foolish to think that the same formula is going to keep working forever (Just look at Stone Roses' flop single "All For One").

Going back and listening to 'Some Frinedly' is like viewing a perfect snapshot of British music at that time, as these lads from Manchester capitalised on with Britpop tunes to die for like "Sproston Green" and "The Only One I Know" but also with tunes that showed there was more to this band, a sort of longevity that meant they were going to outlast bands like Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur, The Verve. This was evident on songs like "Then" and "You're Not Very Well, Are You?" which, especially the former, showed a lot more depth and sincerity at such an early stage of their career. A stage where The Stone Roses were singing about members of parliament "sniffing glue" and all Oasis wanted was "Cigarettes & Alcohol" fast forward 20 so years and there's little to few Britpop bands remaining, yet The Charlatans are going strong.

A cult following is important to this, and they have that aplenty. When you're releasing badges that look like the Sproston Green sign and are limited to 1000 and RRP for £12 and they sell out in minutes you know you have a dedicated fan base on your hands (Reading this back I realise this looks as though I'm dissing the badges, I'm not, I waited for them to go on sale and bought one as quick as possible. I love mine.) Even more so evident with the phenomenal demand for their Northwich series of gigs which is seeing them take part in a week long festival in the, little known, northern town. Organised and headlined each night by the band themselves it also champions bands such as Average Sex and The Blinders. It's special.

But how is The Charlatans musical stead today you may be asking. Well, to be honest, better than ever. 'Different Days' is a truly brilliant album and deserves every slice of recognition is can possibly get because it's just as imaginative and progressive as they should be. It's a perfect sign of evolving for their die hard fans and accessible enough to bring in some new ones along the way. The Charlatans are one of my favourite bands of all time, and I hope you go back and explore their discography and go to their gigs, because that's where the band become truly magical.


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