Though the curtain had been called on Strawberry Fields Festival 2012, everybody knew that The Charlatans were ready to give it a good send-off. Coming out to a much older audience compared to the night before, the headliners were still without their contemporaries, out of their element, facing an enthusiastic but unusual crowd.
Lead singer Tim Burgess revealed himself with a new haircut as the group plunged into their set and the photographers lit up the stage. The high-energy performance went down well, and they carried on in a similar vein – ploughing through tracks, rarely speaking to the audience, with a determined guise.It was quickly clear that Burgess’ vocal prowess hadn’t suffered with age, and his offering was their strongest feature, without doubt.
It’s an odd thing, The Charlatans don’t offer anything really individual, and aren’t a mindblowing band – but they’re professionals. Professionals who performed as they must have been doing for the last near-twenty years, and that’s why they’re enjoyable to nod your head to. Working their way through a selection of hits from their 11 album discography, the Midland-born group took to the hits toward the last 20 minutes – pulling out a hammond organ in the process.
Ending with ‘Sproston Green’, The Charlatans left the stage without a goodbye and everybody was bemused – I think people are still waiting for an encore…