Austin: Charlatans UK @ Levi's/FADER Trading Post




If you know one thing about me then you know that I love British music, especially that period of time known as Britpop. One of the standout groups from that time period is Charlatans UK. I have (gasp) never seen them live before, and when I heard that they were going to play our space my curiosity was immediately captured. Before I go any farther, try to understand that although I am a huge fan of theirs, I wasn't horribly impressed with the latest efforts from them, and wondered what it would be like live. After catching a little bit of their sound check earlier in the day, I heard the wonderful sound of their big organ and knew good things had to be in store. Then, after their performance on Friday night, I am a convert. I gotta admit, I stand corrected and am a believer now.

I made my way up front to snag some photos and took note of the set list. Hot damn, there were some old favorites that they were going to play. Front man Tim Burgess drunkenly took the stage and immediately commanded the attention of the capacity filled venue. Tim Burgess possesses what every great British front man should, some major swagger and a massive smarmy/douchey ego that is larger than the biggest jock in high school. You know the type, the football player with the big ass truck that bragged about how he banged every hot cheerleader while listening to Nelly.

They started their set with "New York", a song that set the mood for their show with big beats and typical Charlatans fanfare. "The Only One I Know" couldn't have come soon enough, as it is one of my all time favorite songs by them. Tim Burgess danced around on stage, tried to hang from the lines holding the tent together, and sexed it up in front of the cameras that were flashing in his eyes (mine included). There was this one dude to the right of me that couldn't get enough of the show. He was even dressed up like the band, sunglasses and all, waving his Red Stripe in the air, and singing along to every word of every song. At one point said dude even toasted his beer with Tim Burgess' water bottle.

About five songs into their short set, Tim Burgess noticed a familiar face in the audience and attempted to bring him onstage. His friend wanted none of it, and the show continued with "Dead Man's Eye", "My Beautiful" and "One 2 Another". That was until the long breakdown of "Sponston Green". Towards the end of the song Tim Burgess decided that he was either worn out, didn't care, or too drunk and sat down on the stage while the rest of his band played on. It was then that he convinced his friend to come on stage and then the two of them ran off backstage for the rest of the set. Unfortunately my camera died at this point so I missed capturing it on film. However, what is fortunate is that my faith in The Charlatans was rightfully restored, and they remained probably the best show that I witnessed during this year's SXSW. Who's excited for their new album this April? Me. Oh, and P.S. to the dude that commented on "Fool's Gold", that's the wrong band, mate.

With the daytime performances wrapped up, I headed out for a bite to fill my stomache before returning to the Trading Post for a killer invite-onlly [adult swim] party with PB Wolf, Percee P, Roc C, Egon, and a bunch of other cool peeps. Those [adult swim] kids really "get it," don't they?

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Austin: Charlatans UK @ Levi's/FADER Trading Post