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162) The Charlatans - Some Friendly

A thirty-odd-year career, thirteen albums, nine making the top ten, a prison sentence, two tragic deaths and the lead singer becoming a national treasure  during lockdown with his listening parties. No this is not the premise of my fictional novel on a rock band this is the career of The Charlatans.


Formed in 1988 its pretty impressive that’s two years later they have a debut number one album under their belt. This, I would suggest, was because we were at the height of Britpop and the band were on a high riding on the success of their second single, The Only One I Know. All these years later it’s still getting this old man tapping his foot and pen along (that’s as much as I dance…not a dancer). The organ and the drums make the track (big shout out to Rob Collins and Jon Brooke who are both sadly no longer with us). Tim Burgess vocals have sometimes been criticised, but they fit perfectly to this tune.


You’re Not Very Well opens and has a groove to it that lodges in my head and Opportunity is six minutes of laid-back woozy beats and organ, takes a few plays but lovely once it hits.


The single Then has a much more sinister darker feel, it made the UK Top 20 and over the years I have come to enjoy it as much as The Only One.


Polar Bear is another groove, shows the band can really play with Burgess not coming in until nearly two minutes into the song.


Many albums fade away towards the end, not this one. Flower is a slower chilled song and Sonic I enjoy and am not so sure why. Its slight but there is something there drawing me in.


Album highlight is the closer Sproston Green, an exhilarating song and finish, which shows they were not in for a quick cash in on the back of the Madchester scene, they were in it for the long haul and thank God they were. They would make better albums, but this was a great start.




GIVE IT A STREAM: Sproston Green

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