They’ve suffered death, fraud, illness and international terrorism. They are THE CHARLATANS and they will

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work harder/ I 'm a survivor: I 'm gonna make it/ I 'm a survivor: keep on survival " Survivor by Destiny '3‘ ( III/(I Yeah. right. Destiny‘s Child may boast about their ability to flourish in the face __ of adversity. but these pampered pooches know nothing. You want tme survivors? Look no further than The Charlatans. I Take five talented scallies. Throw them into the very heart of Manchester's baggy explosion in 1989. Give ‘em a couple of hit singles. So far so good. Next. put their keyboard player in chokey for his part in a robbery. then have said keyboard player die in a car crash. Just getting over that‘.’ Time for their accountant to embezzle hundreds of thousands of pounds. Too smooth? Well. just as they think things are levelling out. rock them with the news that new keyboard player Tony Rodgers has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. So after twelve years and seven albums of this. they‘re going to make Leonard Cohen or Joy Division sound upbeat. right‘.’ But no. they‘ve come out with szderland. their tnost positive. focused and celebratory record in years. No amount of rabbit-foot rubbing or leprechaun—cuddling could avert their next obstacle. In the middle of the year. the quintet tried to begin a world tour to promote the new record. Fate once again took a turn against them as they set out on their US dates. Guitarist Mark Collins takes up the story. ‘We were due to play New York on 12 September and our equipment flew out on I 1 September. It all kicked off about an hour before our equipment landed. so it ended up in Canada. The whole tour got bumped after that.‘ The dates were rescheduled. though the album's US release date I() September hardly got them off to a flying start. Needless to say frontman Tim Burgess now an LA resident is more than a little concerned about events in his adopted homeland. 'l'm fucking shitting it.~ he admits. In the flesh. The Charlatans are the most debonair of bands. Backstage. the afternoon before their sold-out appearance at the Barrowland. guitarist Mark Collins. languishing on a high-backed couch. looks positively dapper in cream mohair and over-dyed jeans. Burgess meanwhile. slopes around in squeaky new all-black Nike Air Max and heavily—styled denim. topped off with a silk scarf. traversing the Artful Dodger/Harold Steptoe/wayward mod tightrope with ease. But Burgess is tired. For what must be the fifth time in three minutes. he takes his wire-frame glasses off his nose to rub his eyes and temples. ‘I had the best night's sleep last night since I came over from Los Angeles and I‘m still knackered.‘ he drawls. For a man who has spent over a decade in this business. he is still an initially edgy interviewee. He fidgets with his glasses (‘I sat on them other day and I‘ve been trying to straighten them out ever since‘) and shuffles incessantly from cheek to cheek in his seat. I say ‘initially' because within half an hour he is spouting off about Oasis ('Me mate saw them and said they were “fat and irrelevant”) and bounding out of his seat to demonstrate New ()rder‘s Barney Sumner‘s / dancing l‘Y‘know. like Freddie And The Dreamers] he cries. waving ..

his left leg in the air). And before my very eyes. the pouting pop kid

i I 'm a survivor: I 'm not gonna give up/ I 'm not gonna stop. I 'm gonna

20 THE LIST 29 Nov 13 Der: 2001