The Charlatans UK

words/photos Jennie Book

The double co-headlining bill of The Charlatans UK and Ride at The Fillmore in San Francisco had everything the heart of a Madchester fan desired, including an 18-song set fronted by the charismatic Tim Burgess and backed by bandmates Tony Rogers on keyboards, Mark Collins on guitar, Martin Blunt on bass, and touring musician Peter Salisbury on drums, plus happy banter with the crowd in between songs. Perennial hits like “The Only One I Know” and “Weirdo” sounded as good as the day they were made thanks to the tight practiced familiarity of the band, and especially due to Tony Roger’s singular keyboard sound.

Even if only a handful of bucket hats were spotted in the sold out sea of fans, the crowd was fully on board and ecstatic to see such English icons playing on a stage that let them get up close and personal with their favorites. And the band was grateful and gracious, waving to fans, acknowledging the balcony, and handing out stage setlists before Ride came out to take over the second part of the evening.