The Charlatans preview new music at intimate London gig

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The band performed at The Garage in Islington last night (October 20)

Last night (October 20) saw The Charlatans play their first London gig of the year in the build-up to the release of their new album, previewing unheard material in the process.

The show was the band’s first in the capital since they headlined a tribute concert for their late drummer Jon Brookes at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2013, an evening that saw members of New Order, Manic Street Preachers, Mumford & Sons and more share a bill to pay tribute to the much missed musician. The Verve’s Peter Salisbury filled the position of drummer at the 600-capacity Garage.

With the group’s first record since Brookes’ death – ‘Modern Nature’ – scheduled for January 2015, frontman Tim Burgess and co treated London fans to four new songs (‘Trouble Understanding’, ‘Talking In Tones’, ‘Come Home Baby’ and ‘So Oh’), plus a selection of tracks from their back catalogue.

The Charlatans took to the stage at 9.15, following support from Grumbling Fur, and opened with fan favourite ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’ from their self-titled fourth album. Dressed in his signature anorak, Burgess braved the venue’s rising temperature and humidity, throwing himself into a succession of early classics, with ‘North Country Boy’ and ‘Weirdo’ among them.

With Burgess shedding his coat five songs in, the band slowed things down for the previously unheard ‘Trouble Understanding’, a slow-building number with keys and electronic-tinged drums.

Another new song, ‘Talking In Tones’ – influenced by the subject of telepathy – followed, introduced by Burgess as the “quietest song ever cultivated”, providing a rare composed moment for the crowd.

Following a medley including ‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed’ and ‘Just Lookin”, the band went into upcoming single ‘So Oh’, which premiered the same day.

A brief harmonica interlude led into the acoustic opening of ‘Impossible’, which burst into life around the two-minute mark. The band followed with a succession of their most-loved hits, including ‘One To Another’, still their highest-charting single to date.

The Charlatans will release ‘Modern Nature’ on January 26, 2015 via BMG Chrysalis. It’s their 12th album, following on from 2010’s ‘Who We Touch’.

The Charlatans played:

‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’
‘North Country Boy’
‘Oh Vanity’
‘Weirdo’
‘Trouble Understanding’
‘Talking In Tones’
‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed’
‘Jesus Hairdo’
‘Just Lookin”
‘Toothache’
‘So Oh’
‘Impossible’
‘Blackened Blue Eyes’
‘Soul Saver’
‘Come Home Baby’
‘Then’
‘This Is The End’
‘One To Another’

‘Autograph’
‘How High’
‘Sproston Green’
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