Peeping out from beneath his peroxide mushroom of hair, at 45 Tim Burgess still looks like he’s at the peak of his baggy days with The Charlatans.
In fact, while his main band have been looking backwards with track-by-track gigs celebrating their best albums, he’s enjoying a sunny solo spell with his own brand of coffee, an endearing autobiography and a new album that finds a fresh sound that suits him.
Almost a decade after his first solo release, the second, Oh No I Love You, has been written in collaboration with Kurt Wagner of Nashville alt-country stalwarts Lambchop. Though his book is notable for its tales of youthful debauchery (one chapter is called “Cocainus”) the new songs are mature, relaxed and extremely pretty, performed with a classy band, a small string section and two gospel singers here.
The Economy was a lovely country shuffle, while A Case for Vinyl was stately and forlorn. Having cancelled his last two gigs because he lost his voice, he really struggled with a cover of The Beach Boys’ Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) but generally the softer sounds fitted his thin tones. Saving his biggest hits for another time, they weren’t missed much.