Meet the Artist: Tim Burgess (The Charlatans, O Genesis)

You just finished your tour at the end of last year, how did it go and how did it compare to playing the smaller venues on your first ever headline tour?

It went really well thanks. We released an album at the beginning of the year so it was great to see those songs go from new ones to firm favourites with our fans. There was probably a lot more mayhem on our first ever headline tour but I’d say the gigs still have as much passion and soul in them – obviously we have a lot more songs to choose from so we can play for longer. We still finish on the same song though so not everything is different.


Frankie & The Heartstrings were the only band to tour IVW last year, we’re massive fans, why did you choose them to go out on the road with you?

We’d done stuff with them for a couple of years but never played gigs together – I played a solo show at Pop Recs, their shop in Sunderland and I liked it so much that we did a Charlatans gig there just before they moved. Frankie had sung backing vocals when I did a set for 6Music at their festival in Manchester a while back too so we knew of them for quite a while. We asked them if they wanted to support us in Newcastle and they said they’d love to – then we thought it’d be great if they played on the whole tour and that was that. It was great to watch them each day and we really get on with them so we by the time we played the last gig at Brixton Academy I think everyone was a bit down that it was coming to the end. It was a brilliant gig to end a tour on though, plus it was nearly Christmas too.


You’ve toured internationally, what are the differences between touring in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world?

Being in a band and playing gigs in other countries was how I got to travel the world, so touring has always been something I’ve always loved touring. When we started we always found that promoters in Europe were seemed to value the bands more – even when the audiences weren’t that big. In Paris, the band would sit down with the sound engineer and promoter and eat a simple but really good meal – whereas there’d be some sandwiches and a big bag of crisps at UK gigs. That’s not me complaining by the way – but it’s definitely a difference I can remember quite clearly


If you could play with any living or dead artist who would it be?

Elvis – I’m pretty sure it’d be a popular gig. He’d be on backing vocals


Great to see you tweeting about IVW, what’s your favourite independent venue in the UK?

I want to make it clear that I absolutely love all the independent venues that we’ve played – but seeing as you ask I would say The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds is my personal favourite. From the minute you arrive till you drive away at the end, you just know you’re in safe hands with Nathan and all the staff.


What do you like most about being a performer at an independent venue? How about as a gig goer?

As a gig goer, I like somewhere where everyone has a decent view of the stage – and a place where the audience are used to being at gigs, so they don’t talk while bands are playing. That can be really annoying. And as a performer – maybe the same things. It’s about the audience having the best time possible. That’s what makes for the best shows – a jacuzzi in the dressing room is just a bonus


What three smaller acts that you have seen over the past year do you think will break out onto bigger things this year?

I’ve really enjoyed watching Hot Vestry, Slowgun and Riding The Low


Weirdest thing you’ve seen happen at an independent venue?

I went to a gig where I was one of three people in the audience – the band said that they were aware that we all represented a third of the entire audience so if any of us needed to go to the toilet or whatever, that they’d stop playing till we got back. One of the other two audience members put their hand up midway through a song and said he was going to the loo. They stopped and started again when he got back.


What’s your top story about being on tour (that you can tell us)?

I suppose I should professionally direct you over to my autobiography, Telling Stories, a rip roaring tale of 25 years of being in a band. Available now at all good bookshops! Everything’s in there. The pressure is on to come up with one story. Maybe it was when we got in some bother with some band trying to get us offstage and Wu Tang Clan came to our rescue






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