Meeting The Charlatans


On 5 July 2002, the Charlatans and Oasis played at Finsbury Park. Between bands, a DJ played some tunes, including a mash-up I’d made of The Charlatan’s The Only One I Know and Michael Jackson’s Bad.

T in the Park

This was a thing I’d been doing for a few years – mixing artists tunes together to make a ‘bootleg’. I ran a website about it, called GYBO, which got some attention. Some of us ended up working for MTV. We mixed tracks for record companies and DJ’d all over. It was a mad time.

So, I get an email from The Charlatan’s Tour Manager. The band had heard the mix, liked it and wanted to get in touch to let me know. Bizarrely, I was due to DJ on a stage at T in the Park the following week where The Charlatans were also playing. We agreed to hook up.

On the day, I was shaking like a leaf. I was introduced to the band in the Artist Village backstage at the festival and they repeated how much they liked the mash-up. Really nice and chatty. As I was leaving, happy as hell, one of the T in the Park promoters asked me if I wanted to do some DJ support for the band. After lifting my jaw off the floor, I said yeah, of course.

Diet Coke

The following August, the band were playing at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. I played some tunes from the side of the stage before the band went on. It was a massive buzz. The guys in the band, the crew, the tour manager and the gig rep were all awesome.

A while later, the band were doing four gigs across Scotland. They invited me to DJ with them again. The support band was The Feeling. I’d go on before the support and then before The Charlatans. I was wined and dined. Everyone was a gent. Martin Blunt, the bassist, chatted a lot. I would DJ with my gear either set up side of stage or with the lighting guy. Seeing thousands of folk reacting to the tunes was incredible. Watching the band play from side of stage was unbelievable.

They were an amazing live act to watch. Tim seemed quite shy off stage but on stage he was a fantastic lead. Each member of the band is a master and their set was full of classics. It wasn’t tremendously rock and roll back stage. Tim’s biggest vice at that time seemed to be Diet Coke.

Two Hours

My final gig with them was at a venue called the O2 Academy in Glasgow. It holds around 2,000 people. It was on the other side of the road from my flat – handy. I was asked to start at 7pm.

I turned up and asked the gig rep who the support band was. “You are”, was his reply. What time are the band on? “9pm”. So I was DJing for two hours? Hell! Ok, so where was my DJ stuff going to be set up? “In the middle of the stage”. I nearly shat myself.

71prbXXcDHL._SX425_I just managed to scramble together two hours of worthy tunes. I was second guessing each track when I was picking it, but it all seemed to work. Two panicky, sweaty hours later, I was done.

Tim was DJing at a club on the other side of Glasgow after the gig. He asked me to go along but I was exhausted and I didn’t know if my nerves could handle it. I passed, and have regretted it ever since.

I didn’t DJ with them again, but I did do a remix of a great track called “You Cross My Path”. It was included with the Japanese release of the single. I was really proud of that.

And that was it. I went on to work with many other bands. Out of all of them, though, The Charlatans will always be the most special. No airs or graces. Just great people, fantastic tunes and an atmosphere that you wouldn’t believe.

12 Comments

  1. Katie Brealey
    11 February 2016
    Reply

    Great post I have a lot of love for the Charlatans

  2. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    I have honestly never heard of them, but I’m all for listening to new music and discovering bands I’d never heard of. It must have been a wonderful experience for you!

  3. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    Great post, it sounds like you had a lot of fun, and to DJ for two whole hours! I would have be terrified. x

  4. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    Sounds like it was a great life with a lot of great experiences. I can’t say I’ve ever really listened to the Charlatans, although I expect I’d recognise some tracks.

  5. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    Um that is amazing! If you are ever up for doing a guest mixtape over at Punky Moms let me know x

    • 12 February 2016
      Reply

      I’d love to! Will get in touch. 🙂

  6. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    Wow this sounds so great – I remember the Charlatans but never listened to their music. Kaz

  7. 12 February 2016
    Reply

    oh wow sounds like great fun my teen is forever at gigs at festivals

  8. 13 February 2016
    Reply

    Wow what an amazing experience. I think you always regret the things that you don’t do, that’s why I try to say yes to a lot!

  9. 13 February 2016
    Reply

    I havent listened to the Charlatans in forever, so I am now sat here adding them to my Spotify playlist, what a great opportunity this was!

  10. 14 February 2016
    Reply

    Sounds like you had an amazing time – I love the Charlatans and I can imagine them being very down to earth

  11. 16 February 2016
    Reply

    What an amazing story. If ever there was a time to face your fear, it was then. I bet you regret not going along though. You’ve taken me right back to my misspent days with this post

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