CHARLATANS – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Well, it took two decades for English band The Charlatans to kick out the jams in our home town but I think most will agree that it was well worth the wait. Consisting mostly of punters in their 30s and 40s, it was strictly a crowd of 90s-era “kids” who filled up the *SCAPE Warehouse (between 450-500 people, I reckon) and thus, the 90s hits went down best e.g. The Only One I Know, One To Another, Weirdo, North Country Boy and Tellin’ Stories.

This is the second time, I’ve been to a gig held at the *SCAPE Warehouse (first time being Copeland) and while the sound was slightly punchier this time (not by much, mind), overall the sound mix was murky and muddy (and I was standing very near to the desk!), with the keyboards having a hard time being heard above the distorted din of bass and drums. Which was a tad disappointing as any Charlatans fan will tell you that the keyboards arrangements are integral to those groovy psych-soul sounds!

Personally, I enjoyed the new songs off the last two albums (viz. You Cross My Path & Who We Touch) – Oh Vanity, Smash the System, Your Pure Soul and My Foolish Pride – notwithstanding the crowd being non plussed somewhat. A pity because I believe that the band’s strongest material is on these two albums.

The inevitable encore saw the band risk-taking with the opening track off Who We Touch, Love is Ending and the 2010 version of┬áSproston Green, from its debut album, Some Friendly. The enthusiastic audience lapped it all up, I’m pleased to report, including yours truly who was dancing along in the only was he knows how – badly… heh.

Despite the poor sound, the good vibes emanating from the stage was good enough to make this concert a resounding success. An excellent night’s out for everyone concerned.

Picture courtesy of Aloysius Lim/PhotoPitAccess.com