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November 19, 2015
7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show | $24.50 advance, $29.50 day of show | All Ages
1332 W Burnside St, Portland
How to come back from the death of a best friend, a band member, and a core part of your sound?
How to stay motivated in the middle of a cold, damp Cheshire February, in a building full of memories, with no record label, and just a few sketches of songs from aborted recording sessions the year before? The Charlatans did what they always do. They dug deep, and searched for soul.
Yet Modern Nature, The Charlatans’ twelfth album and their first for new label BMG, nearly didn’t happen at Burgess, Mark Collins, Martin Blunt and Tony Rogers struggled not to feel deflated, and the songs wouldn’t come.When they reconvened at their Big Mushroom studio in early 2014, it was the memory and spirit of Jon Brookes that spurred the rest of the band on to finally make a breakthrough and make a bright, uplifting, summery record that stands up as one of the finest of their career.”Jon was adamant that there was going to be another Charlatans record, and you have to put that into your own thoughts,” says Rogers.
For there was just too much history not to carry on. Over the near-25 years since they formed, The Charlatans have never split up to lucratively reform like so many of their peers. They’ve overcome death, arrest, Britpop and bankruptcy to release eleven albums, including seven UK top tens, retaining a fanatical fanbase who still clamour for album tracks rather than any of the band’s eleven top 20 singles – Sproston Green, the song with which The Charlatans finish every single gig, still sends crowds wild. Yet despite these accomplishment this has been the moment when they’ve decided to push themselves hard towards the future. “I suppose with bands who’ve been together for a while, they can drift off as individuals” says Burgess.
“I think it’s really important for us to sit down and go through everything and get it all cleared before we went through together”. United in Big Mushroom with Jim Spencer at the controls, The Charlatans were determined to make a positive, upbeat record. “We were aching for the summer when we wrote it” says Burgess. “It was freezing and we were trying to write songs that made us happy.”
The result is The Charlatans’ most confident, effortless, light album for years. Mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Portishead), its title comes from the avant-garde filmmaker Derek Jarman’s diary collection, a copy of which fell on Burgess’ head as he worked on solo material with psychedelic electronic folk group Grumbling Fur. First out of the traps is Talking In Tones, to come out as a limited edition 7″ via The Quietus website’s record label, which launched the career of East India Youth and earlier this year released Grumbling Fur’s critically acclaimed album. It builds out of wheezing, popping rhythms into a graceful, understated and strange pop song about telepathy in relationships, the title for which came to Burgess after a walk through the streets of London.