The Charlatans joined by Ian Rankin at Usher Hall

The Charlatans, those much-loved survivors of the Madchester era, visit Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Monday, 14 December in support of their twelfth album, Modern Nature.

Capital crime writer Ian Rankin, who teamed up with Charlatans’ frontman Tim Burgess a few years back to record A Little Bit Of Powder, will be the band’s special guest in Edinburgh.

The Manchester indie stalwarts, who made some of the best music of the Britpop era – classics like Can’t Get Out Of Bed, Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over, One To Another, The Only One I Know, North Country Boy and Tellin’ Stories – released Modern Nature in January to rave reviews, with some critics calling it their best ever.

Charlatans front man Tim Burgess in conversation with Ian Rankin at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2013
Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess in conversation with Ian Rankin at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2013

Produced by the band themselves and Jim Spencer and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Portishead), Modern Nature was recorded in the band’s own Big Mushroom studio in Cheshire in Janaury 2014.

The band “were aching for the summer when we wrote it,” recalls Burgess. “It was freezing and we were trying to write songs that made us happy”.

Over the festival season, The Charlatans were working flat out, starting with a triumphant secret opening slot at Glastonbury where they drew record crowds, to headline slots at Isle Of Wight, Truck, Tramlines and V Festival.

This will be the The Charlatans’ last UK tour before the band head off to tour Europe, America and Australia.

On their return they will be heading back into the studio to start work on their follow-up to Modern Nature.

It will be the first time The Charlatans have visited Edinburgh for a few years – their last visit being their gig at the HMV Picture House in the summer of 2012 – and they can’t wait to return to a city they love.

“I’ve lots of really fond memories of the city,” says Burgess.

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The Charlatans, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Monday, 14 December, doors 7pm, £30.25 (includes a £2.75 booking fee), 0131-228 1155, click on poster to buy tickets


The Charlatans’ timeline

1990: Formed in the West Midlands by bassist Martin Blunt. Baz Ketley is the singer, but is replaced by Tim Burgess before the release of debut single Indian Rope. Debut album Some Friendly released.

1991: Guitarist John Baker leaves, and is replaced by Mark Collins.

1992: Second album Between 10th & 11th released. Keyboardist Rob Collins jailed after being an unwitting accomplice in an off-licence robbery.

1994: Third album Up To Our Hips released.

1995: Self-titled fourth album The Charlatans released. It reaches No 1 in the album chart.

1996: Rob Collins dies in a road accident while driving back from Rockfield studios near Monmouth. The band decide to carry on and play triumphant show with Oasis at Knebworth.

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1997: Fifth album Tellin’ Stories. It spawns band’s biggest hits, One To Another and North Country Boy.

1999: Sixth album Us & Us Only released, with the band now signed to Universal after their deal with Beggars Banquet expired.

2001: Soul- inspired seventh album Wonderland released.

2004: Eighth album Up At The Lake released. Reviews are mixed.

2006: Ninth album Simpatico released. Record label Sanctuary closes not long after [in early 2007].

2007: Tenth album You Cross My Path released online as a free download. It’s a roaring success.

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2008: Physical release of You Cross My Path.

2010: Eleventh studio album, Who We Touch, is released on Cooking Vinyl Records, and includes the single Love Is Ending. The album charts at No. 21 in the UK. 2010 also sees the twentieth anniversary of the band’s debut album Some Friendly, which they play live at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival.

2013: Drummer Jon Brookes dies after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010.

2015: Modern Nature is released, giving the band their best reviews in years.

Words: Gary Flockhart


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