The Charlatans are to star in their first documentary next year: a film telling the story of their 1997 album ‘Tellin’ Stories’.
The film, titled Mountain Picnic Blues after a lyric from album track ‘With No Shoes’, will be released on DVD in March 2013.
The documentary features interviews with all band members and tells the story of the album’s recording and completion in the aftermath of keyboard player Rob Collins’ death – a tragic event that threw the band’s future into question. “Afterwards we were feeling like, ‘Where do we go from here?’ Charlatans bassist Martin Blunt tells NME. ‘Do we just do these gigs and then say, ‘That’s it’ or do we move forward creating music with another person?”
The film also incorporates tales of their 1996 support slot for Oasis at Knebworth, where the band played in front of 210,000 people. “We stayed about 30 miles out from Knebworth and I just remember we arrived in a helicopter, thinking, ‘This is all getting a bit surreal,’ you know. I’d never been in a helicopter before. A lot of the press came running down to our helicopter thinking Oasis had arrived.”
Blunt says that though the film was made with the full cooperation of the band, they have not seen a final cut yet. “It’s in post-production now and we don’t want to watch it ‘til they’ve finished it,” says Blunt. “We left them to it, because if we started meddling in it would start to become a bit of a vanity project.”
Released in 1997, ‘Tellin’ Stories’ features the singles ‘One To Another’ and ‘North Country Boy’.
Mountain Picnic Blues will be released on March 4, 2013. A bonus CD featuring a live performance of the album recorded this year at Glasgow’s Barrowlands will be included. The DVD can be pre-ordered online now via the band’s official website, where fans can get a deluxe edition of the release featuring bespoke artwork and exclusive unreleased photographs taken on tour in 1997.