Charlatans /The Cooper Temple Clause/Minuteman/Moco : London Astoria

The latest NME Carling Show sees Tim Burgess and the boys on top form...

It's 7.10pm and the Astoria - where the NME has set up home for the last week - is already rocking. That's because northerners Moco have made the venue their own for half-an-hour. A bunch of their MC5-style manifestos/fanzines have been scattered around the venue and singer Steve Jones, all mouth and sideburns, is crowdsurfing over the sparse audience, banging into monitors, whirling around and attempting a series of handclaps that make Bobby Gillespie look like Rudolf Nureyev. Good attitude. He makes being a bit of a twat look enjoyable. A few tunes wouldn't go amiss though.

Minuteman, however, are an entirely different proposition. Free from the overcooked prog rumblings of Ultrasound, Matt Jones certainly doesn't look any happier (he's nursing a severe hangover), but his new band's classy hook-laden pop is a welcome surprise. Rollicking single 'Big Boy' should start him on the road again.

At last year's shows, Cooper Temple Clause

stood in for Scandinavian strummers Kings Of Convenience, and they were, quite frankly, awful. Now they're genuine UK chart stars and a different proposition entirely, even if they do look like an Andy Bell (the Oasisone, not Erasure) tribute band. The likes of 'Panzer Attack' and 'Let's Kill Music' may seem like unlikely crowd pleasers, but when you've managed to seduce the producers of 'CD:UK' winning over a bunch of Charlatans fans is a piece of rather intense piss.

What is there to say about Charlatansthen? Well, they're very good at being Charlatans. Tonight they mix highlights from their 'Wonderland' album with a bunch of hits, making being in a band look like the best job in the world. But while it's the likes of 'One To Another' and 'The Only One I Know' that send the punters absolutely potty, it's the more bruised, vulnerable moments such as 'A Man Needs To Be Told' (their finest moment?) and 'If I Fall' that encapsulate this band's status as survivors with soul.

Just one problem - Tim Burgess may look great in his Dylanesque floppy hat, but he could do with some cowbell lessons. But then Charlatans have always been out of time - that's why they're a national treasure.

Alan Woodhouse

Share This

More Reviews

'Money Monster' - Film Review

George Clooney and Julia Roberts bounce off each other like pros in this amusing take on fat cat greed

Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine