The Charlatans are back! The Northwich band return with the launch of their 12th album “Modern Nature” which is something to get excited about, after a five year break between albums they hit Manchester’s Albert Hall with two sell-out homecoming gigs. It’s Friday night and there is a massive buzz in the air. Mancunians are eager to let everything go since the ‘Madchester’ days. Head to toe in Goosebumps, I have never seen The Albert Hall so full of excitement.
The Albert Hall welcomes the band, literally, with open arms. Gigantic opener "Forever" starts with an extended instrumental intro before frontman Tim Burgess arrives on stage. Burgess looks just as happy as we do, presenting his crowd with adoring smiles and goading arm gestures, he has everyone at his fingertips. He takes a photo with his phone of the hyped up crowd.
Forth track in, an old time favourite “North Country Boy” Burgess has the iconic maracas out and the audience are re-living their youth, as the front mosh pit begins to evolve.
The stage’s backdrop is almost unnoticeable as it changes from psychedelic patterns to calming landscapes as the tracks switch from old to new. Every song sounding vibrant. “Manchester it's good to be back...1, 2, 3, come on up at the back, I see you!" Tim Burgess hollers.
The stand out new track “Let the good times be never ending” has a chilled fresh sound with The Charlatans well known organ riffs that lift the atmosphere even more. “Good times.” says Tim Burgess. The Mancunians are going crazy for Burgess as he continues to wave to the crowd. Salford born 47-year-old Burgess who apparently off-stage is shy and introverted can certainly strike a rock pose or two. “Good Friday night?” says Tim Burgess
They then break into the massive anthem “The Only One I know” followed by new track “Come Home Baby” the contrast between the old and new sound works so well.
After the Albert Hall shook with cries for an encore the band return to the stage with another massive welcome. Finishing their epic 2 hour set with an encore of “Blacked Blue Eye” and “Sprostron Green” at this point the entire ground floor crowd is a sea of mosh.
Its Party central! With a late night after show DJ set by Burgess himself, it’s a party not to be missed, even members of The Stone Roses, The Courteeners and Manchester United are all here enjoying THE partry (or so it seems) of 2015.
The Charlatans are a band still ,and always will be, steeped in cool.