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Tim Burgess - Profile

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 30 / 9 / 2016

Tim Burgess - Profile


Anthony Strutt examines Tim Burgess from the Charlatans' new book, 'Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco', in which he goes record shopping and invites us along to track down famous friends' suggestions.

I first became aware of The Charlatans through listening to the mid Sunday afternoon show on GLR, so by the time 'Indian Rope' was released (from the album 'Some Friendly' 1990), the single was already a firm favourite in my newly married household. Although I had bought indie records before,'Indian Rope' was very special, as it was the first one I ever bought in a serious indie record shop. It was my first ever purchase in Rough Trade (in its former home under a skateboard shop in Neal's Yard). I went in, bought it and left, not even tempted to look through the countless racks. The first time I ever saw the band was at The Dome in North London. I remember it as not just a gig but a real event, a game changer! I never got into the "baggy" scene, as it was dance based but this was also psych=based. The Charlatans were like The Doors that you could dance your arse off to: Twenty five years later, the band still remain and still tour heavily. The music isn't as "psych" or as "baggy" as it once was but it still has it's moments. Tim Burgess was - and is- a forward thinker, starting his own label, releasing countless solo albums (a new one is out this week with Peter Gordon), so a book is a natural progression. 'Vinyl Adventures' is a great book. It has stolen most of my time for the last two or three weeks. Many tales of obsessed love are spread over 250 pages and should you want to hear several of the tracks, there is a CD for you to trace too, on his own label. 'Tim Book Two' is its alternative title and very much covers his life, taking up from where 'Tellin' Stories' - which covers his early life and first forty odd years - left off but this is very much better than just a sequel. To be honest, not many of the records recommended would be purchased by myself but he does a great job of informing us of many fellow musicians and record shop owners and the conversations and lust that only vinyl junkies know. Burgess tours the world as singer of The Charlatans but in his spare small time instead of getting drunk or stoned he tracks down music. Tim Burgess might be a very rich and famous musician but he is most definitely one of us. A damn fine read indeed.

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