The Charlatans – The Apollo, Manchester UK

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From One to another, via Sproston Green, The charlatans are on the road, and FOTF caught the “home crowd” gig.

You know you are in for something altogether special when The Charlatans play in your city. Tonight, was defiantly no exception.

(Words by Wendy Smithy, photos by Billy Seagrave)

Manchester, December 02: A crowd raring to get going, this evening was the culmination of a day-long City-based, fan interactive book signing and interview, followed by an “after party”DJ set at “Venue”.

 I have read various reviews on the previous 3 nights offerings before heading out tonight and the underlying overtone of a band being “Long in tooth” or “retro” I.E. old, are so far out of context with this band. I understand and agree that some of the iconic 90’s bands can be a little staid and retrospective with their material and gigs, but I would state and argue that certainly cannot be said of The Charlatans.

 With the opening beats of “Not forgotten” delivered by Pete Salisbury from behind his sprawling and impressive British Drum Co kit, we are launched into the beginnings of a set that takes us through an even balance of more recent material from “Different days” interjected with the classics that have sound tracked most of my youth.

 A minor technical issue has us delayed for literally a matter of minutes before the euphoria is recaptured and proceedings begin again.

“Just when you’re thinking things over” has every single person up on their feet on the lofty circle and upper tiers and there we stay for the duration of the evening. The crowd below us, baying and bouncing along with each track, ably led by Tim on stage, (flanked by band members Mark and Martin) who gives a faultless vocal throughout.

The creative edge this band is known for extends into a sparse but effective backdrop of visuals that in no way take away from the Music but add an extra element with the dreamy road trip scenes.

(The “thing” I love about this band is they are so savvy when it comes to creating, be it apps, killer merch, and the interaction Tim has on his twitter feed, for me this extra dimension certainly enable them to have an edge and show their creative prowess in a multitude of ways.)

 It is so difficult to pinpoint highlights from tonight as I was completely absorbed in the gig, delighting in “My sunrise” and euphorically singing along with “Different days”, recalling the album launch on a Sunny day in Manchester earlier this year.

 As we hurtled towards the final few tracks, the whole of the Apollo erupted with the opening strains of “The only one I know” proving once again that The Charlatans material more than stands up to the test of time, sounding as fresh now as it did back in 1990, (as does the rest of “Some friendly”.)

One final treat for us tonight is the arrival on stage of Steven Morris (Drummer with New order) and Donald Johnson (A certain ratio drummer) to knock the encore of “Over again” and “Sproston Green” right out of the building.

The Charlatans tonight, gave us a gig telling of their near 30 years in Music but with a definite freshness indicative of a band who are fully committed to keeping a creative outlook in all they deliver.

Tickets available for the remaining dates via http://www.thecharlatans.net/#gigs

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