Tim Burgess, the lead singer and host of listening parties, considers Glasgow to be the birthplace of his band, the Charlatans. They are currently performing their 16th show at the Barrowland Ballroom, a renowned venue in the city. Although the band is from Northwich in Cheshire, they have a strong connection to Glasgow and its indie-pop music scene, which is evident by their decision to play two shows in the city on this tour. The show tonight is particularly special as they are playing their fan-favorite album from 1992, “Between 10th and 11th”, which was requested by Burgess through a tweet.
Burgess’s appearance may not be flashy, but it certainly draws attention. With his bleached hair, rosy cheeks, and vibrant sports jersey, he stands out against the energetic backdrop, dancing, waving, and smiling at his dedicated audience. The live performance highlights the powerful moments of the previously underrated album Between 10th and 11th – the bold piano chords in Tremelo Song and the chorus referencing Bob Dylan in Can’t Even Be Bothered – but what truly shines is the driving beat that ties all the songs together. It’s a moving experience to hear the melancholy lyrics of Ignition and the nihilistic message of The End of Everything performed by someone who appears lighter on his feet than when the songs were written. While full album performances can sometimes be predictable, this unexpected surprise set serves as a reminder of the band’s more abstract and introspective side.
The latter portion of the performance focuses on the more confident side of the band’s repertoire: popular songs such as North Country Boy and One to Another, as well as lesser-known tracks like Toothache from their 1995 album and more recent single Let the Good Times Be Never Ending. This second portion, following Between 10th and 11th, takes a broader approach. Lead singer Burgess captures footage of the audience during certain songs, which starts off as a kind gesture but begins to resemble the behavior of someone at every concert who watches the show through their phone. However, the audience remains in high spirits throughout, reaching a peak when bagpipe player and opening act Ruby Darbyshire joins the band for an encore performance of their 2008 single Oh! Vanity. In Burgess’s beloved city of Glasgow, there is a sense of lasting mutual affection between the band and their fans.