Who're the daddies?
The second day of the Electric Gardens Festival was dominated by some of alternative music's brightest talent and was one big debut album club. So it seemed only right that the inorgral event in the Kent countryside was rounded off by the daddies of British indy the Charlatans.
This was the music equivalent of when the kids come home from school and find the ultra cool uncle has stopped by. I'm not trying to make the Charlatans sound ancient here, but merely highlight that with a career dating back to the nineteen eighties, they have experience on their side, but are still very much at the heart of all that is great about UK music in 2006.
This hour-long set opened with classic Charlatans old and new. The immense 'NYC (There's No Need to Stop)' from 'Simpatico' led into 'North Country Boy'. Interestingly when I interviewed them before the new album was released the latter was one song that, although a personal favourite of Tim Burgess, was potentially going to be dropped from the forth-coming setlists.
'Black and Blue Eyes' was another early 'Simpatico' highpoint, but it was the many classics that the band performed that made the night. With a back catalogue as large as their's, they could have played until midnight and still left something major out. Personally I would have liked 'Wierdo', 'Just Looking' or 'Just When You're Thinking Things Over' to have made the cut, but I'm merely picking holes now.
'Jesus Hairdo', 'Up At The Lake', 'Can't Get out of Bed' and 'One to Another' all had their moment in the spotlight. However the biggest cheer, unsurprisingly was reserved for 'The Only One I Know'.
OK so this wasn't the biggest event on the planet, had the Charlatans been headlining Reading or T in the Park then the music press would have been concentrating on their every move, but you can only play for your surroundings. They would probably have liked to play on past quarter to ten, and those watching would have agreed, however I can't imagine the last train home from this part of the world is especially late on a Sunday night.
All things considered this was a great way to round off a debut festival, the organizers can feel proud to have bagged a band of such high standing. Tim Burgess is a vocalist still very much in his prime. His band mates are as good as any you could wish to see. Together they're still producing cracking music and show no sign of slowing down.
They move on to V in a couple of weeks, if you're heading to Chelmsford or Stafford too make sure you check them out.