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Live: The Charlatans, O2 Academy Sheffield


The Charlatans took their Different Days tour to Sheffield this week, showcasing music from their new record alongside classic tracks with an expansive stage show to boot.

Different Days is the band’s thrilling thirteenth record, a project which sees The Charlatans continue to experiment with new sounds and new people. Collaborating with some familiar faces on the record such as the legendary trio of Johnny Marr, Anton Newcombe and Paul Weller which similarly to their previous record Modern Nature sounds like a band enjoying themselves in this new-era for The Charlatans.

The atmosphere within the building is all love, each person in the crowd wore a smile as they arrived which became even wider when they left after devouring the two-hour set which displayed the evolution of The Charlatans over the last 27 years.

Different Days’ opener ‘Not Forgotten’ kicks off proceedings in a leisurely fashion before the band turn it up a gear, rolling back the years to 1995 with ‘Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over’ which truly heats up the crowd who unite for a euphoric singalong.

The Charlatans live is a unique experience which is partly down to the breathtaking light arrangements that you’d expect to see at an arena show, Tim Burgess and co. clearly go the extra mile to make their show aesthetically pleasing. What other gig can you see a robot talking head Ian Rankin?

Nostalgic visuals were projected behind the band which pointed to each era of their existence, proudly showing off their longstanding legacy… and the ever evolving hairstyles of Tim Burgess. The visuals also served as a much-needed reminder that we have lost two Charlatans over the years in keyboardist Rob Collins – who passed away in 1996 – and drummer Jon Brookes who died of a brain tumour in 2013. It was a lovely touch to see them on the big screen, still Charlatans in spirit.

When they come around to play their top 10 hit ‘The Only One I Know’, it’s a moving moment as the crowd harmoniously lose their shit to one of the finest Britpop tunes – which hasn’t aged a day. This, followed up by 2015’s joyous six-minute number ‘Let the Good Times Be Never Ending’, ends the set in a beautiful manner.

The Manchester band return for a two-song encore which finishes on the delightful classic ‘Sproston Green’ as the band exceed the venue’s 11pm curfew.

The Charlatans have managed to remain interesting, relevant and exciting 13 albums in, which is a hard feat in the face of adverse tragedy. The tour continues tonight in Glasgow, check out the full tour dates below:

4th Dec Glasgow Academy
5th Dec Newcastle Academy
7th Dec Leeds Academy
8th Dec Cardiff University Great Hall
9th Dec London Brixton Academy
10th Dec Dublin Academy
11th Dec Belfast Limelight