Charlie and the pop-hit factory

Martin Greig (left), journalistic whizzkid of The Herald newspaper, shares some of his finest words with us…

THE CHARLATANS are like cockroaches – they could survive anything. And they have done: Madchester, Britpop, the death of keyboard player Rob Collins in 1996.

It’s now 18 years since their inception. Count them. They have evolved beautifully and organically without ever seeming like genre-hoppers. They remain as prolific as ever (three albums since 2001 and another one in the offing), words and music flowing freely from uncluttered minds. Be it country, reggae or ska, the Charlies’ influences have become increasingly eclectic as the years have passed.

Then there is Tim Burgess, the Peter Pan of indie pop. The lead singer with a pout like Paris Hilton after happy hour at the collagen clinic. He’s 40, y’know, and currently living in Los Angeles. In football parlance, he’s worth the admission price alone.

The Charlies have the type of back catalogue most bands would give their eye teeth for. From the wigged-out charm of The Only One I Know through to their foot-stomping anthem about, ahem, incest, One To Another (“Sister and a brother, and a change in the way that you feel”), and the epic grandeur of Sproston Green, they are a must-see live… unlike cockroaches.

4 The Charlatans – Title Fight

b November 3, ABC, Glasgow

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