The Charlatans – perennial favorites tonight. And while we’re celebrating Manchester and all things Mancunian, The Charlatans were one of the first bands in that wave of Alternative/Indie/New-Psych known as Madchester. And as I have said with just about every post I have done of them, they are the band that renewed my interest in Contemporary music, not only from their first releases via RCA, but especially their live concerts.
Occasionally referred to as one of “the unluckiest bands in the world”, primarily because the number of true casualties inflicted on the band early on, they nonetheless made an impression on audiences, certainly the underground in the U.S.
This session, their first for John Peel and recorded on March 20, 1990, comes some 7 months before the release of their debut album, Some Friendly, and two months ahead of The Only One I know – their first single for Situation Two/Beggars Banquet and around the time of their debut single Indian Rope for Dead Dead Good Records. It’s vintage Charlatans and a clear example of why they were one of the pioneering bands of Madchester.
In all fairness though – The Charlatans weren’t actually from Manchester. But as various sources say, the band were formed in the West Midlands and relocated to Manchester – so at least part of the legend is true.
Regardless, The Charlatans are still around, with only vocalist Tim Burgess and guitarist Mark Collins as the remaining original members. They are touring and recording and have a new album about to come out in May 26th, Different Days.
If you missed them the first time around, you have no excuse not to become familiar with them now. One of the great bands and one of the tributes to Manchester and the legacy of that amazing city.