Charlatans : Manchester University
Nice like that painting of hat-wearing dogs playing pool...
Still, 500 or 20,000 - it makes little difference, as the essence of The Charlatans live remains the same - it's a very nice thing. If you want an edgy, spine-shuddering experience, go and see The Vines. You want someone to whip his 'piece' out on stage and beat you about the face with it? Try The Parkinsons down the road.
Because when The Charlatans play live, the venue is engulfed in a tsunami of niceness. It's nice like Michael Owen. Nice like that painting of hat-wearing dogs playing pool. Niceness of Lorraine Kelly-type proportions.
But - and here's the problem - occasionally during tonight's 90-minute greatest hits set, 'nice' veers into the zone marked 'intolerably dull'. So not long after a sparklingly soulful 'Tellin' Stories' and a blast through a totally Beck-ified 'Love Is The Key', some of The Charlatans greatest hits ('North Country Boy', 'Can't Get Out Of Bed') begin to underwhelm.
So then. A bit dull? Maybe. Band Of The People? You bet. And they offer few reasons to think that they'll abdicate that position anytime soon.
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