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The Charlatans star Tim Burgess expects Aberdeen show to be a highlight of UK tour

The Charlatans to play Aberdeen
The Charlatans are set to headline The Music Hall in Aberdeen. Photo supplied by Sonic PR.

The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess expects the band’s delayed show in Aberdeen to be one of the highlights of their UK tour.

Tim is excited to finally play The Music Hall on Tuesday – five months after initially scheduled.

The band reluctantly cancelled their concert at the venue in December due to rising cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The 54-year-old admits it was a ‘sad’ and ’emotional’ decision to pull the plug just days before December 20 show in the Granite City.

However, the chart-topping legends are ready to make up for lost time with a memorable performance.

Indie legends The Charlatans had to cancel their show in Aberdeen in December. Photo supplied by Sonic PR.

It is the second time a concert by The Charlatan at the Aberdeen venue has been hit by a virus.

In May 2004 the band headlined The Music Hall only for 500 concert-goers to later be struck by norovirus, the virulent vomiting bug.

Such was the number stricken by the virus an NHS hotline was set up.

Tim said: “Cancelling the show in December was sad but the government weren’t making any decisions.

“They were leaving it to people to make up their own mind.

“It seemed to me that even people who had bought tickets for our shows were still scared about going out.

“That they didn’t really want to go out.

“In many cases even though people had bought tickets they weren’t showing up.

“I didn’t want that to have to happen to anyone who had bought a ticket for our shows.

“The decision to cancel was a pretty straightforward one.

“Obviously it was emotional but we had to try not to be emotional and do what was right for everyone.

“It feels a lot better now because spring is in the air. It feels good to be doing it now.

“We have always loved playing Aberdeen.

“So much time has gone by since we played Aberdeen I think it will be one of the highlights of the tour.”

‘Members of the crew caught it’

The Charlatans will headline The Music Hall as part of their 30th-anniversary tour.

Tim has clear memories of their concert at the venue 18 years ago when norovirus spread like wildfire, affecting a third of the 1,500 sell-out crowd.

The cause was eventually identified as two concertgoers who had felt unwell before attending the gig.

One of them had vomited on the steps of the Music Hall on their way in, allowing the bug to be carried in on gig-goers’ shoes.

Chart toppers The Charlatans make a welcome return to the Music Hall in Aberdeen. Photo supplied by Sonic PR.

Tim said: “There was an outbreak of a virus.

“I remember that, I think someone was sick on the steps indoors.

“I can’t remember if anyone in the band had it.

“However we were all on the same bus and members of the crew and security were all catching it.”

The ascent to chart topping fame

The Charlatans emerged in 1990 with the release of the influential debut single Indian Rope.

A buzz had started around the band and within months, their second single The Only One I Know crashed into the top 10.

Debut album Some Friendly, released later that year, topped the charts.

Tim said: “The early days were such monumental times as we went from nothing to something very quickly.

“I remember doing the night shift in Strawberry Studios in Stockport to record The Only One I Know.

“On our first tour, we would turn up in places like like Aldershot and think ‘who’s going to know us in Aldershot?’.

“Then the gig sold out and we were thinking ‘What’s going on here?’

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans is relishing a return to Aberdeen. Photo supplied by Sonic PR.

“We pressed up 5,000 copies of Indian Rope which wasn’t that many then. It’s quite a lot now.

“Those sold out so we had to press another 10,000 – which also sold out.

“So we sold 15,000 12 inches and then it went to number 89 in the charts.

“We thought ‘wow, we’ve made a chart record’.

“We were the buzz band then. All that is captured when I listen back to the first album, tracks such as Then, Opportunity, The Only One I Know.

“That feels like excitement in a bottle.

“Looking back that time feels like yesterday whereas last week feels like years ago.”

Iggy Pop, The Doors and Sly Stone

Since those explosive early years The Charlatans have become one of the most popular and endearing British bands.

They have notched nine top ten albums, three of those number one, and 22 hit singles.

However, their sound has constantly mutated through the years.

 The Charlatans to play Aberdeen
The Charlatans emerged with the legendary Some Friendly in 1990. Photo supplied by Sonic PR.

Tim said: “We always try to move away from what we have done before.

“The identity of the band is always there but we are always trying to move into something new.

“That is for self-satisfaction and also for the audience.

“There are some things that are really natural such as The Chemical Brothers period when they first remixed Patrol.

“The reason for that was because I was going to The Heavenly Social.

“I was going there because I missed the feelings of elation that I had got from a club like the Hacienda.

“I found something that matched that and The Chemical Brothers were the soundtrack to that.

“They remixed more of our songs and I sang on more of theirs.

“That went on for about three years. It was a really natural progression.

“Then there was Wonderland where I was living in LA and I wanted to record on Sly Stone’s desk.

“I wanted to record on Wonderland Avenue where The Doors used to live and Iggy Pop was seen walking around naked.”

Work has started on new material

Released in October last year A Head Full of Ideas compilation is a celebration of the band’s three-decade career.

Whilst embracing the past, The Charlatans are still looking toward the future.

Tim confirmed they are working on a follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed Different Days.

He said: “We have got stuff which is pre-demo so it is really early.”

How to book tickets to see The Charlatans in Aberdeen

The Charlatans will play the Music Hall in Aberdeen on Tuesday May 17. There’s a very limited number of tickets available here.

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