The best things we’ve learned from Tim Burgess’ Twitter ‘listening parties’

Oasis, Pulp, New Order and tons more have already given fans much-needed distraction, tweeting their way through classic albums with the hashtag #timstwitterlisteningparty

With hundreds of Instagram Live gigs and festivals, treasured archive footage being unearthed and new self-isolation songs arriving every day, the coronavirus lockdown has been unexpectedly fruitful for music fans. One event in particular, though, has become increasingly treasured in its first few weeks in existence.

Last month, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has launched #timstwitterlisteningparty, a near-nightly event where bands live tweet their way through the most famous albums of their careers. We’ve had Bonehead talking through the first two Oasis albums, Dave Rowntree Blur’s ‘Parklife’, Pete Doherty on The Libertines’ ‘Up The Bracket’ – and many more.

Deliberately taking place at 10pm – this is a much, much nicer place to be than the evening news – the parties give fans an opportunity to dive back in to some of the most iconic albums ever released while ignoring the increasingly troubled outside world for an hour or so.


On top of this, the tweets have unearthed some previously unknown gems of information about records that have defined the last half-century. Here are the best things we’ve learned so far.

The recording of The Libertines’ ‘Up The Bracket’ revolved around a very particular schedule…

Pete, Carl and co’s 2002 debut album as The Libertines still stands as the height of indie-rock hedonism. Production from Clash guitarist Mick Jones amped up the gritty, rock’n’roll aura around the album , but as Pete Doherty explained during the album’s listening party earlier this week, the recording process for the album revolved around a significantly more wholesome and unexpected schedule: Jones simply had to catch up on Eastenders. The good old days, huh?

Liam Gallagher’s original cover idea for ‘Definitely Maybe’ was pretty tasty…

The famous sleeve for ‘Definitely Maybe’ was shot in Bonehead’s front room, but as designer Brian Cannon revealed during the album’s listening party that Liam‘s original concept for the shoot was a knife stuck into a lump of butter. See the prototype for the genius creation below.

The drums on New Order’s ‘Age Of Consent’ are cut and pasted from a Joy Division classic

One of the series’ most fascinating editions came when Stephen and Gillian Morris took fans through New Order‘s ‘Power Corruption and Lies’. Though Stephen has one of the most iconic drumming styles of all time – he’s been dubbed ‘the human drum machine’ for decades – and songs can be instantly identified as his, he revealed that two of his most famous works are almost carbon copies of each other.


Turns out ‘Age Of Consent’ borrows a beat from a version of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ from 1980 sessions with producer Martin Hannett. Not a bad pair of songs to get out of one drum beat…

Pulp’s ‘Different Class’ came with some pretty wonderful promo materials


As well as being a defining album of the Britpop era, Pulp‘s ‘Different Class’ also held many wonders for fans who particularly loved collectables. As the band revealed during their listening party for the 1995 album, among the materials that came along with the album’s release were a poster of Jarvis Cocker designed by soon-to-be Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett, and a ‘mis-shapes’ sewing kit, so you could have Jarv and co on your jacket. Bands of today: bring these back.

Oasis’ ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’ had to be a double album because it was so loud

Prolific tweeter Bonehead has taken fans through the first two Oasis albums in some of the first listening parties of the series. One delightful fact that emerged from from the party for ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory the album ended up having to be pressed on two discs of vinyl because it was mastered so loud (the louder the song, the wider the grooves in the vinyl, fact fans).


He also went on to reveal that, when asked to come up with a piano part for ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, he just decided to “nick” the part from John Lennon‘s ‘Imagine’. Didn’t turn out too bad in the end.


Shame looked adorable during their first ever band practice

Shame‘s listening party, for 2018 debut album ‘Songs Of Praise’, provided a host of videos dug up from the writing and recording process for the album. As they regularly say on stage, their single ‘One Rizla’ was the first song they ever wrote as a band, and now here’s the proof – see the shockingly fresh-faced five-piece running through a scrappy version of the track at their first ever band practice.

Barmaid Karla Knox was a ’90s indie cover superstar

Fans probably remember the woman from the cover of Ash‘s track ‘Goldfinger’, and most of recognise the person from on Oasis’ ‘Some Might Say’ sleeve. But it’s taken Brian Cannon, designer of a host of Oasis sleeves to reveal that they are in fact the same person. As he revealed during the ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’ listening party, the woman is Karla Knox, the barmaid in his local pub in Wigan. Even Bonehead had no idea until now. These things are all about learning.

Blur’s ‘Parklife’ begins with Dave Rowntree smashing a plate after eating his dinner

It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but the plate that smashes in the intro to Blur‘s most famous song just adds to the magic of the Phil Daniels-led masterpiece. As drummer Dave Rowntree revealed in the album’s listening party, the sound in question “is me sitting in the studio smashing the plate I’d just eaten my dinner on. I did it in one take. I’m a professional.” You’ll never be able to un-hear it now.

Coca Cola weren’t too happy with Oasis’ ‘Shakermaker’

In his first listening party, for Oasis debut ‘Definitely Maybe’, Bonehead revealed that ‘Shakermaker’ was bizarrely linked to Coca Cola in more than one instance.

Revealing that the melody of the song was “stolen from the Coca Cola advert,” he then said that the lyrics were set to read “I’d like to buy the world a coke to keep it company” before Coca Cola’s lawyers got in touch.

The cover of The Flaming Lips’ ‘Soft Bulletin’ was lifted from a book on LSD

The listening parties have delivered host of never-seen-before images. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne revealed during his party for ‘The Soft Bulletin’ that he “stumbled upon the cover image” for the album in a magazine that focused on drug use, sharing the original book and photo in a separate tweet. He went on to say that, to him, “the image never really evoked LSD” and he found it more “introspective” (whatever that means!).

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