Album review: The Charlatans

The Charlatans - Different Days (BMG)

The Charlatans.

The Charlatans.

IT SAYS much for The Charlatans that, while other Manchester bands of their vintage who may have been bigger went and imploded long ago, Tim Burgess and friends have quietly been able to keep going.

Not for them the explosive break-ups and subsequent reunions that were high on nostalgia but low on significant (or any ) new work. In fact, The Charlatans are that rarest of things - a band, nearly 30 years into their career, still capable to producing worthwhile, quality, material.

Much has been made of the 'all star cast' [Paul Weller, Irish actor Sharon Horgan, Ian Rankin, Johnny Marr, members of New Order] guesting on Different Days. Normally such collaborations are a fig leaf to distract from poor quality. Not here.

Different Days is first rate British indie-rock by elder statesmen of the genre - a work which balances maturity and reflection (majestic opener 'Hey Sunrise'; the pacy, near psychedelic 'Solutions' ), defiance, and exuberance (the title track ), and nods to their baggy/Manc/1990s heritage, but updated and made relevant for now ('There Will Be Chances', 'Lets Go Together' - anthemic numbers both, they should go down a strom on the band's upcoming tour ), all 13 tracks sitting well together, overall making this a strong, deeply satisfying collection.

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