Charlatans / Starsailor

By theajaysharma

Los Angeles, CA, Palace
January 11, 2001

The Charlatans are known for bringing along the "hot new indie" band for their support. Some previous bands were: Catherine Wheel, Menswe@r, Stereophonics, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. So Starsailor fit right into their supporting role and banged out a decent set. The Charlatans did the same. So why did this show suck ass?

The show sucked because the music was so bland. Starsailor came out and played a bunch of tracks from their album, "Love Is Here", which came out like a week ago (in the US). They're a decent pop band, they make decent pop tunes, and they look like decent pop boys... blah blah blah. There's absolutely nothing special about this band that grabs you. I was pleased with their set, especially "Fever" and "Alcoholic" just because those are the two singles that haven't been shoved down my throat (yet). But the worse song was their "Good Souls" finale that seemed extended just over eight hours. It ended with James Walsh (singer and guitarist) slapping the pedals and trying to sound a little insane and "experimental". When you've just finish your set with nothing but four minute pop songs, don't try to end it with crazy sound effects. Just get off the damn stage and leave the experimentation to Sonic Youth, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Mogwai, and everyone else that can play the guitar better then you.

After walking around a bit, getting a much needed beer, and talking to a friend who I haven't seen in years, the Charlatans take the stage. They open up with "Love is the Key" and for some reason I thought this was going to be much better then last time. They continued with some new tracks like "You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty" and "A Man Needs to be Sold". But they quickly threw on the ol' Charlatans soundtrack with hits like, "North Country Boy", "How High", "Wierdo", "Just Lookin'", etc... I haven't heard these songs since the last time they played, or the time before that, or the time before that. I'm just suggesting they mix up their setlist and I think it might help their performance. When they play "Wonderland" tracks, everyone in the band has more energy, Tim Burgess is dancing around a bit more and overall they just seem happier. But when they have to play "The Only One I Know" again, everyone's bummed out and Tim's just standing at the mic singing the words. If they started throwing in some b-sides or an album track once in a while they might enjoy playing some of their older material. Most of us really love the Charlatans and I don't think they're really getting tons of new fans off of "Wonderland" so there's no need to resort to playing the greatest hits for us.

Y'know how you get a bunch of junk when you walk out of the show, like flyers and crap? Well, someone was handing out South EP's and that was one of the highlights of the evening (the other being talking to my friend who I haven't seen in years). The fact that Starsailor and Charlatans played didn't even matter, like it should.