The Charlatans UK and Ride bring sounds of their ‘90s hits to Atlanta

“I feel like I’ve not been to Atlanta for a long time, so it’s good to be coming back,” Burgess said.

Appropriately dubbed “BetweenNowhere,” the series features the Charlatans performing its second album “Between 10th and 11th,” from 1992, and Ride playing debut “Nowhere,” from 1990. The groups alternate playing first/last each night and will supplement their sets with material from their other releases. Burgess is also set to appear at Criminal Records in the early afternoon of Jan. 15 for a “Between” listening party and fan Q&A.

Credit: Guy Eppel

Credit: Guy Eppel

The decision to tour together again was an easy one. “We were talking about it when we were playing last year — the idea of coming back and doing Texas, Georgia, Arizona,” Burgess noted. “It just seemed like a question of when we’d do it. I’m equally as excited, really.” The singer has fond memories of prior band performances locally at the Cotton Club, the Masquerade and the Roxy.

Known in North America as the Charlatans UK for legal reasons (a set of San Francisco Charlatans were contemporaries of Jefferson Airplane in 1965), the band continues a remarkable career that includes 13 albums, three of which having reached the No. 1 spot in the UK. Twenty-two of its singles have landed in the Top 40 there, and “The Only One I Know” and “Weirdo” were both big modern rock hits in the States, establishing a loyal fan base here since the early ‘90s. The group’s lineup consists of Burgess, guitarist Mark Collins, bassist Martin Blunt, keyboard player Tony Rogers and touring drummer Pete Salisbury (formerly of the Verve).

Featuring percussive Hammond organ stabs from the late Rob Collins and gloomy lyrics from Burgess, “Weirdo” boosted the success of “Between” and led to two U.S. tours in 1992. While it’s had a prominent place in the set list ever since, other songs from the sophomore effort dropped out fairly quickly. As such, last year’s tour and this one have allowed the band to revisit a host of tunes they hadn’t played in decades.

“Between” didn’t fare as well as its predecessor on release but has enjoyed a critical reappraisal. “It’s just such an interesting thing for me,” Burgess said. “It feels like the album’s finally getting accepted in a widespread way.”

One song that stands out for the singer is the shimmering, hypnotic “Chewing Gum Weekend.” Written in the studio, “it’s so weird with the chord changes,” Burgess said. “I don’t know what we were thinking, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a youthful-sounding thing. It took us ages to work it out [re-learning it last year] because it was kinda weird. But I love it, I always love the melody.”

Burgess has released a number of solo albums and was also the architect of Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties, through which artists tweeted details and insights about their records as fans worldwide listened to specific albums in unison. Over three years and 1,366 albums, the parties brought musicians and supporters together and in particular helped many find joy during lonely times in the COVID pandemic. The Criminal Records event will be an in-person variation of that format.

Hailing from the southern city of Oxford, Ride started its recording journey with the famed Creation Records. The group’s sound later incorporated influences of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, but its first few albums were inextricably linked with shoegaze, an indie rock subgenre usually featuring dense, layered, effects-heavy guitars and often vocals purposefully put low in the mix. The British music press generally didn’t appreciate shoegaze in its early ‘90s heyday, but in recent years its popularity has surged and many bands associated with it (such as Slowdive, playing at The Eastern on May 17) have returned to recording and touring.

Consisting of guitarists/vocalists Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, drummer Loz Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt, Ride split up in 1996, with most of its members continuing to pursue music. Bell, for example, played in Oasis for its last decade together. With Ride’s music still highly regarded, the band reunited to pick up unfinished business in 2014, releasing two more successful albums to date and recording another set for release in 2024. Bell is also a member of Mantra of the Cosmos, a new project that includes Who drummer Zak Starkey and the Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder and Bez.

Ride’s “Nowhere” is undoubtedly one of the best albums associated with shoegaze, all the more impressive considering the band members were 19 or 20 at the time of its release. From the hazy, chaotic “Dreams Burn Down” to the sublime, wistful “Vapour Trail” (complete with strings), the record holds up well and is filled with live favorites. Hopefully a new song or two will make its way into the post-“Nowhere” portion of the group’s set.

The Charlatans UK don’t have an album release imminent, but have laid the groundwork for one. “It’s been the longest gap ever for us [since 2017′s “Different Days”], and life is just more and more complicated as time goes on,” Burgess said. “But there is writing.”

In the meantime, the two bands are enjoying another few weeks on the road together. “I think this tour will be great,” he concluded. “It will be a great source of energy to take with us in the new year. We’ve got a lot to write!”

MUSIC PREVIEW

The Charlatans UK and Ride. Jan. 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. The Eastern, 777 Memorial Drive SE. Tickets: $37.50-$43. Tickets and more information: easternatl.com

Album listening party and fan Q&A with Tim Burgess. 1:15 p.m. January 15. Criminal Records, 1154-A Euclid Ave. Free. criminalatl.com/Event/65752

Author

Leave a Comment