Celebrate 60 years of counter cultural revolution with Fred Perry and The Charlatans. An evening of heritage and new music with support from Keel Her (signed to Tim Burgess' own O Genesis Recordings label) and DJ sets from Norman Jay MBE, Don Letts and Terry Hall.
For more than two decades now, The Charlatans have been an inspirational force in British rock. As they celebrate their twentieth anniversary with some very special gigs, they remain as exciting and relevant now, as when they first broke through to the immortal strains of 'The Only One I Know' – if not, more so, as a new generation of young bands and fans today hail them as lifelong heroes.
Rooted in the Midlands and Northwest of England, the band have always exuded positive energy, whether in the first mania of their success in the early '90s, or while suffering their many tribulations midway through that decade, or in their sophisticated, ever-questing vitality today.
The unshakable line-up of Martin Blunt (bass), Jon Brookes (drums), Tim Burgess (vocals), Mark Collins (guitar) and Tony Rogers (keyboards) have, along the way, made so much beautiful, brilliant music – countless classic singles, bursting with melody and class; and an enviable catalogue of albums, each restlessly different from the last, none anything short of compelling, uplifting, or totally rockin'. Unlike all but a very select few bands of their vintage, Charlatans albums are urgent, and full of life, both commercially and creatively.
Their eleventh studio collection, 'Who We Touch', must surely rank as their boldest to date, radically broadening, in places, their aesthetic remit. It is, says Burgess, "a soulful voyage", a journey through moods upful and profound, dark and delirious, ultimately concluding in blissful optimism. Its sound is inspired by many heroes, yet always sounds like no-one other than The Charlatans themselves.
"You don’t want to do something you’ve done before," Tim reasons. "You have to start with a blank page. You need to be enlightened. The dead give birth to dead things."
Norman Jay MBE
Norman Jay MBE is arguably one of the finest and most respected deejays in the world today whose talents and many years of dedicated service to his profession have now seen him rightfully acknowledged by the highest authority in the land.
On Saturday 15th June 2002, Norman was officially cited in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours List with the recommendation that he be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, an MBE no less, awarded on merit for "deejaying and services to music". On Tuesday 12th November 2002, Norman was officially invited to attend a royal investiture at Buckingham Palace (London) where he was duly invested and presented with the highly coveted MBE medal by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II herself. It is indeed the highest civilian honour yet conferred on anyone from the relatively new field of post modern UK club culture and black music - a fitting tribute in recognition of his many outstanding musical achievements and invaluable contributions to music in a career spanning well over two decades.
Don Letts has been joining the countercultural dots for almost forty years, coming to notoriety in London during the late 1970s, running Acme Attractions and introducing an entire generation of punks to reggae as DJ at the Roxy Club. Now, as Fred Perry celebrates its 60th anniversary, he will celebrate the integral part that the brand continues to play in shaping youth culture.
As Fred Perry Subcultures show, it's not just a fashion label. It's a way of life
Don Letts was inspired by what he saw at Acme Attractions and The Roxy, and adopted a punk D.I.Y ethic, to make "The Punk Rock Movie". Shot on Super-8mm, it remains the seminal documentary on the U.K punk scene, featuring The Sex Pistols, The Clash and many others. Don went on to direct over 300 music videos for the likes of Bob Marley, Elvis Costello and The Clash.
Coventry's favourite son and pivotal figure of new wave, ska, and two tone - Terry Hall's discography speaks for itself. Although undoubtedly best known for his seminal work with The Specials, Fun Boy Three, and The Colourfield, Hall's list of projects and collaborations read like a who's who of the last 30 years of popular music. Collaborators have included: Dave Stewart, Bananarama, Sinead O'Connor, Ian Broudie, Tricky, Gorillaz, Dub Pistols and Lily Allen, to name just a few.
Hall's reluctance to rest on his laurels has led to a diverse career. Speaking in an interview about The Specials 1980 number one single "Ghost Town" and his departure from the band, Hall stated, "With every record, it's a little agenda. If I feel like I've achieved it then I stop it".
Since 2009, Rose Keeler-Schaffeler has been beaming out bite-sized fuzz-pop from her Winchester bedroom at an astonishing rate - 200+ songs so far, and with a hit rate that leaves zero need for editing. Her songs are direct and often sub-3:00, with a harsh punk sharpness, and at the same time have rainbow-hazy qualities that, with their spaced-out sonic palette, match her often-delirious song titles (sample – “You Would Be So Grossed Out If I Did That”.) So far the majority are posted directly to Soundcloud (the Demos 2012 album on her Bandcamp already contains 66-and-counting) but two physical KEEL HER releases are out worldwide – a tape on the fledgling label Maximum Violence Immediately (the Emanuel EP) and another (self-titled) on Italian Beach Babes, the DIY-minded London label run by Conan Roberts of Mazes and Graffiti Island.