Photos by Roger Cullman
After a 12 year wait, Manchester band the Charlatans returned to Toronto for a sold out Danforth Music Hall.
Approaching 30 years in the business, the Charlatans have consistently been putting out albums, having released their 13th album, Different Days, last year. I’ll fess up that despite being a big fan of the band in the early 90s and having witnessed their fine show a number of times, I haven’t heard a Charlatans album since 2001’s most excellent Wonderland album. Their visit to Toronto for this album in 2002 was the last time I saw the band live, and expectations are high because the Charlatans have always delivered good gig.
Opening with their recent single “Totally Eclipsing” the band led by tanned and blond mopped Tim Burgess, the band delivered a 100 minute set that relied heavily on their two most recent releases. The rabid crowd enthusiastically devoured all of it, with extra hefty appreciation for the hits like “Just When You’re Thinking Things Over”, “Weirdo” and sole Wonderland track “You’re So Pretty – We’re So Pretty”.
Normally reliable sound-wise, the Danforth Music Hall was overwhelmed by the band’s sound with it being muffled and tin-y. The muffled sound gave the night an almost chopped and screwed vibe.
Sound issues aside, the crowd were left happy with their solid discography; touching on many of their albums and although one could argue about songs missed out, it would take a very long set to get in everyone’s Charlatans fave. They delivered a stacked home-stretch with the biggest hit “The Only One I know” being the second last song of the night to the delight of the older masses who roared the words back to Burgess.
So while it wasn’t one for the memory logs, and a couple of times they definitely were, the Charlatans delivered a thorough set that sent people home happy. Not the magic that one might expect after such a long absence, but hopefully it won’t be long until they’re back to reignite that spark.
And who know what Tim Burgess’ dancing style might evolve into by then.