The Charlatans at Glastonbury 2015 review – indie everymen let the good times roll

Other stage
The curse of the secret set is broken as Tim Burgess and co fire up the morning crowd with classics such as North Country Boy and One to Another

The secret “special guest” slot that has opened the Other stage bill for the past two years doesn’t have the most glittering history. In 2013, any anticipatory buzz was thoroughly quenched by the unravelling of a Beady Eye backdrop on Thursday night, and last year the Kaiser Chiefs were met with audible groans from a huge crowd who’d been reliably informed they’d be the Libertines.

So as the Charlatans saunter onstage with a mumbled “Surprise, surprise!” from halogen-headed singer Tim Burgess, they know their duty. A large audience of randoms demand what Burgess calls “early morning good times”, and these indie everymen haul them out in abundance. Weirdo, North Country Boy and Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over set the morning swiggers a-sway, and the Stones Hammond funk of One to Another sparks a field-wide frug. Meanwhile, the tracks they dot in from new album Modern Nature – glory days groover Let the Good Times Be Never Ending, the falsetto cocktail pop of So Oh and the narcotic chorus high of Come Home Baby – are so sunny that they appear, according to the age-old reviewing assumption that festival bands somehow affect the weather, to usher the stormclouds on across the site.

Burgess is the consummate festival compere, grinning genially through a strident How High, wishing Mick Jones a happy birthday, and rattling the world’s smallest maraca along to Sproston Green, their Doors-y finale that spurs Glastonbury on towards a weekend of Woodstockian adventure. The crowd are sated, the curse of the Other stage secret set finally broken. Let those good times roll.


Mark Beaumont

The GuardianTramp

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