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Charlatans @ Fuzz: 19 years later

"19 years ago, I was in high school and my mind in Manchester (or otherwise Madchester) which seemed to be the Promised Land ... " D. Katsourinis was at Fuzz on Friday night for the "charlatans".
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The photos belong to Sophia Economou.


19 years ago, I was in high school and my mind in Manchester (or otherwise Madchester ) which seemed to be the Promised Land. Understandably then, the news at the time, the upcoming appearance of the Charlatans at Rodon, came as manna from heaven. During breaks, the actual event, the excruciating wait of the critical date, monopolized discussions with some fellow music lovers. We
even added that if by summer we would see the Happy Mondays (there was a rumor back then), the concerts of our wildest dreams would become reality. The Charlatans finally played to a packed and "electrified" Rodon, the 27th of March of 1992, one of the few times (especially then) a "hot" group really came on time. I remember the chills I felt, listening to my favorite Flower ...

In the process, the Stone Roses were driven to self-destruct, the Happy Mondays blew their careers and the famous scene in Manchester, moved to the dustbin of history. The Charlatans though came through and not only survived (and keep going), but managed in the second half of the 90s to make higher sales, even to those they had already made in the baggy years. They matured, developed and were embraced by the brit pop status as an equal, if not an honorary member. A quieter (than others) band profile, consistent, effective and respected name in the audience - even when experimenting with disparate influences and species (by Bob Dylan, until Curtis Mayfield).

Entering Fuzz on Friday night I saw two things. The first was that the site would not be filled with anything. The second concerned the ages of viewers ... the 30year olds had, if anything, their night out. However, my fears about the possibility to witness an embarrassing or cold live, quickly evaporated. The Charlatans undaunted, took the stage shortly before 10 and for about 90 minutes gave us an ideal, 100% professional set. With the legendary "Then" and the rhythmic "Weirdo" we were brought to early 90's, paving the way appropriately for what was to follow ...

... and that was essentially the representative presenting a enviable career in an unequivocal position on the pop culture of the last 20 years. Good songs - hit singles from historical records and a healthy current need for expression and creativity - all that unfolded in a way that gradually "warmed" the atmosphere, leaving at the end a sweet feeling. The sense of a "full" evening of music, in which eventually, all attendees (including the musicians) had a great time.

On successes, of course, the reception was enthusiastic - especially in the first row. It is unfair not to mention the new songs of Charlatans, which not only did not "killed" the momentum, on the contrary, maintained it in full. Moments that I personally picked ... the melancholy power of "Bad Days", the New Order type "The Misbegotten" (both from "You Cross My Path", 2008) and of course "powerful" "Love Is Ending" (from last year's "Who We Touch").

From there, the choices were those expected ..."Can't Get Out Of Bed", "Telling Stories", "North Country Boy","Impossible"... and it is understood that "One To Another" and "The Only One I Know" (next to each other) gave the atmosphere of a decisive and irreversible positive momentum. They lead to encore with the steady grooves of "You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty" and "Blackened Blue Eyes", but just before, they accorded the beautiful "This Is The End" - this is my impression that Burgess gave us the most cooled interpretation.

They returned with the highly esteemed "My Beautiful Friend", staged turns with "How High" and left permanently in applauds, after delivering a comprehensive implementation of the epic song called "Sproston Green". The song is the one which closed in avalanche of keyboards and guitars in "Some Friendly", that legendary debut in 1990.

19 years later, they all look older (in appearance at least). All but the 44year old Tim Burgess that seemed to have literally "freeze" the image over the years. Slim, with a simple, youthful clothing and ... jet-black hair, scattered smiles modestly in the world and urged them to rise with sustained gestures. Given that fate has played several games in the back of Charlatans (referring to the premature death of Rob Collins and the recent serious illness of Jon Brookes ), the precision is one of the many things one can admire in them ...

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