Live Review – The Charlatans @ O2 Academy

The Charlatans

The Charlatans

O2 Academy

Review by Julien Safe

While many musicians have spent the last 18 months twiddling their thumbs, Tim Burgess has been a busy man.

Burgess’ Twitter Listening Parties helped the nations music lovers stay sane through lockdown and as restrictions eased he followed this up with a tour of his new solo album.

Tonight saw him back with the band who helped him make his name as The Charlatans took to the stage at a sold out Birmingham O2 Academy for a belated 30th year anniversary greatest hits tour.

The band hit their stride from the off, opening with ‘Forever’, ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Some Friendly’ favourite and the seldom seen ‘Then’ kicking off proceedings to set the tone for an evening of quality tunes from the bands vast back catalogue.

The affable, timeless Burgess was quite clearly loving the return to the stage with his band and spent much of the night conducting the crowd and filming his own performance. The sold out audience lapped up hit after hit with the band sounding as good as they ever have done over a career that has seen off almost all of their original peers. The set list featured some rare delights and newer material too and while some crowd favourites were saved for another day, no one was left disappointed.

A run of ‘The Only One I know’, ‘North Country Boy’ and ‘How High’ had the venue bouncing before the band returned for the encore, finished as always with what is now an enhanced and epically built up version of ‘Sproston Green’.

With the energy of a front man seemingly loving life as much as ever it feels like there are plenty of miles left in the tank for one of British Indie music’s finest bands.