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End of Year Blog by Martin Blunt
31st December 2013

“I’ve got this far and I’m glad I’m going to be part of this record”. These are the words spoken by Jon that resonate within as 2013 comes to its end. The positivity, the enthusiasm were Jon’s trademarks and his hopes for the future.

Sadly, as we all know, Jon lost his battle with cancer in August of this year. But his spirit and passion for The Charlatans has galvanized us as we continue to put our all into the new album.

Amidst the sadness, there have been a few special moments for us in 2013. First the sun-drenched splendour and fantastic atmosphere at Delamere Forest, Cheshire and the festival vibe of Belfast. The Royal Albert Hall concert was overwhelming, not just the love from the audience but the generosity of the other artists to give their time to support The Brain Tumour Charity. To all of you who came along to the evening thanks for being there at such short notice. Finally came St George’s Hall Liverpool, our postponed show which turned into a celebration of not just Mr J. Brookes but the band.

And now we look to the future and finishing the album we all want to make. As Tim has mentioned Jon’s contribution will be there. So all that’s left for me to say is I hope 2014 brings all that you want from it. I’ll leave the last word to Jon and one of his many pieces of advice; “Never stand up in a canoe“.

Take care of yourselves wherever you are and thank you.
Martin Blunt.

Writing in County Wicklow, Ireland
11th March 2013

Tony and Martin have been writing some new songs this week in Ireland... see all the photos here.

Writing in Rye
16th January 2013

Tim and Mark are in Rye this week doing some writing.. see all the photos here.


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Tellin' Stories
13th September 2012 by Jon Brookes

Hi everyone just like to give a heartfelt thanks to you all for making the Tellin’ Stories shows so memorable and for letting us indulge in some retrospective B-side action.

We always have a good debate about what will make up a set but we all knew Clean Up Kid and Title Fight were going to be in there somewhere pushing our on stage time up to an unheard of time of two hours!!

It has to be said that although Some Friendly feels a long time ago, whilst we worked through the songs (for the anniversary shows) we tried to rescue some of the dynamics back from the people we used to be whilst we brought the debut number 1 back to life. Tellin’ Stories was a different trip, its euphoric celebratory and triumphant sentiment is met by driving rhythms and expressive and soulful keyboard and guitar combinations all added to by the inclusion of Tom Chemical and Richard March and Dave Charles alongside us at the mixing console. We made this our last record in South Wales with the help of Martin Duffy on keyboards at our then second home Monnow Valley.

The only tune we couldn’t recreate was Rob and Rik Pete’s late night chill out ‘Rob’s Theme’. We left the stage for Rob to have the room to himself, listening as his late night experiments drifted back to us whilst we cooled off and got ready to take the night up a notch.

The record was a musical landmark for us and helped define a spike in British rock music upon its release in 1997. It is an amazing record finished under the most difficult of circumstances. Much has been written about the chaos and camaraderie during its creation and we have all made some candid remarks both during its number 1 debut (our third to reach the top spot) and more recently by Tim in his memoir.

The last word is currently being edited together as a documentary about the bands story whilst making Tellin’ Stories. We hopefully will bring together the truth about what was to be a turning point for the band as we were forced to regroup and decide our future before moving on.

The chance to put it altogether and stand in front of sell out audiences in some of our favourite venues was truly an honour. The albums euphoric tone reverberated once more for the benefit of what looked like a really splendid mix of people, we were thrilled by the reaction and knew this is as good as it gets. We also had lots of festivals to be enjoyed despite the now official news that this was the wettest year ever! No surprise to anyone we saw out there this summer. We had many interesting experiences too, including cocktails at a stately home at the Magic Loungeabout and a ghost tour at Castlepalooza in deepest Ireland. I also had the collective panic of an aborted take off in Frankfurt when one of our engines went bang, resulting in a fire crew spraying foam into the now smoking engine pod! I’ve never been that worried about flying but the whole thing was made worst with the flight diverted to Heathrow and subsequent bus trip refused entry to Birmingham airport (my final destination), denied on the grounds of security risk!

So onto the future and after a short band meeting backstage at Bingley we gingerly entered into a verbal commitment to make another record, this is, as you now know, some time away. We all have other interesting projects we’ll be working on and hope to go into the studio next year, as if it was the first time again!!

Many thanks again for all of you who came and supported us, and for the people who have our best interests at heart who work with us!
JB

Read previous blogs here


Writing in County Wicklow


Writing in Rye


Hammersmith Apollo


Wychwood


Brixton Academy


Album playback


Mixing LP in New York
Part 2


Mixing LP in New York
Part 1


2010 in the studio


2009 photo shoot


Manchester May 2008


2008 European tour


Recording at Big Mushroom January 2008