The Charlatans

Opening the set with a blistering version of new single Love is the Key, Tim Burgess sounded as though he had been singing at that bizarre pitch his whole life.

By RACHEL BULLER

Even though I am long past the age where girls should be infatuated with pop stars, it's official – I am in love with Tim Burgess.

The Charlatans are a magnificent band. They have a proper rock star as a front man – although I'm not sure about the velvet cap, Tim – and they write and produce brilliant music.

And while they might have been going for more than a decade, their new material stands proud alongside anything else being produced at the moment.

It wasn't the first time I had seen The Charlatans live when they rocked the UEA on Saturday night, but it was by far the best I have seen them.

On new album Wonderland, Tim Burgess has adopted an incredibly high singing voice, and I hate to say it but I wasn't sure how he would pull it off live.

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But opening the set with a blistering version of new single Love is the Key, he sounded as though he had been singing at that bizarre pitch his whole life.

The band played a lot of material from Wonderland, including Judas; You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty; and the gorgeous And If I Fall.

But it was when they launched into some of their older hits – like Weirdo; One to Another; North Country Boy; and a never-ending Sproston Green – that both the guys in the band and the sell-out audience seemed happiest.

For all the original indie kids, there was also the treat of a fine version of their first hit single, The Only One I Know. All those wah-wah guitars and lumbering dance moves took me – and half the audience – right back to those heady teenage years when Madchester ruled the world.

The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses might have fallen by the wayside, but long may The Charlatans live on.

 

 

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