Tim Burgess was born in Salford in 1967, and joined the Charlatans in 1988. Since their first top 10 single in 1990, The Only One I Know, the group has become one of Britain’s most enduring bands. Burgess also has a solo career and his new album, I Love The New Sky, is out now. Since lockdown, his Twitter listening parties in which people play albums together and comment online, have been a huge internet hit. He lives in Norfolk with his partner, Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor, and their son.
My little boy is seven and obsessed with Star Wars, so we’ve had to subscribe to Disney+ during lockdown, which has all the films. He was disappointed that Baby Yoda wasn’t in The Rise of Skywalker, but Baby Yoda’s here! We watch this on a projector in his room so it’s the size of his wall, and I’d really recommend this film, even though I’m probably not the target audience. Its stories have a real feel-good factor, although my son’s more into the Dark Side. We also do his daily exercise for school in the garden with us practising lightsaber moves.
The Twitter listening party thing’s gone crazy. What’s been brilliant is getting artists to join in and comment along, although some musicians are quite rightly a bit nervous of Twitter. There’s been lots of great ones – New Order, Dave from Blur and Bonehead [Paul Arthurs] from Oasis pitching in – but the listening party to this was really special for me. Appetite from this album is my favourite song of all time, and I love Wendy Smith from the band – she’s sung with me and the Charlatans a lot. She took it to another level, tweeting pictures and memorabilia, and I found it really emotional.
Pete’s a music journalist, and this is the story of his love of music as a child, and how it gave him a sense of identity. His parents had come over from Greece with great promises of work that fell through, and they ended up running a chip shop. He writes about the acts that first made sense to him as a child, like Leo Sayer and the Barron Knights, and I really got that: my equivalents were the Bay City Rollers from a few years earlier. Pop music that means the world to you when you’re young doesn’t often get written about.
A friend recommended this to me: it’s Louis Theroux interviewing people who, like him, are in lockdown. The episode with Jon Ronson, who’s in New York, is great. They consider each other rivals, given they started out doing similar things, but they both seem OK about that, which is interesting. Jon talks about how Robbie Williams once called and said: “You’ve got to interview me in a haunted house!” It fell through, of course, as things do which are driven by a huge amount of bluster. I also want to mention Boy George’s podcast about self-isolating in Soho. It’s lovely to hear voices like these in your ears at the moment.
I’m obsessed with this song. Sofie was in her mid-20s and a DJ in America and London when she had a sudden change in her life and went back to Vienna, where she’s from. It comes across in her songs. They’re like classic Todd Rundgren or Carole King, but this one is really incredible. It starts off like… I don’t want to say John Lennon’s Imagine, but it has that same classicism about it. I’ve been saying to people – come on, you have to hear her!
This film is strangely really rewarding to watch in lockdown, as you’re reminded that every detail of life is there to be seen at the moment. It feels quite uplifting to do that, somehow, rather than self-punishing. I’ve lived in America, and been through an experience like this [divorce], and it translated. I’ve also loved Laura Dern’s acting since she was in Blue Velvet. She’s so believable as Scarlett Johansson’s character’s attorney.