The last two Charlatans concerts in Belfast took place in tents. It was a fact that didn’t escape singer Tim Burgess as he commented on it, saying “Every gig we do here is in a tent” at the second of those, at Custom House Square in May 2015.
Two and a half years, they returned to Belfast (keeping up a recent run of coming here every two years) and we had found an actual building for them to perform in, The Limelight, which hosted the final night of their Plastic Machinery Tour.
It was a night that saw them blast through their hits, such as North Country Boy, Tellin Stories, Weirdo and The Only One I Know, which ironically, wasn’t the only one I knew.
We also got treated to Love Is The Key, not always played on their previous Belfast visits but one of my favourite Charlatans songs, if not my favourite.
Running it close in that regard is Blackened Blue Eyes, which wasn’t played. Can’t have everything I guess.
What we did get, was the (trademark?) dad dancing from Tim Burgess. It must be a Tim thing, as Tim Booth of James is just as bad, or good, depending on how you look at it.
There was a mixed reaction from the crowd then they introduced a song co-written with Paul Weller, with Tim commented that he was a mate. Tough Crowd.
What got the crowd going was the possibility of Tim stripping, as he took off his jumper to reveal a t-shirt, the crowd egging him on to strip, with guitarist Mark Collins looking on disapprovingly at them for doing so.
They did get to later see Burgess take his t-shirt off, but with a catch.
By the time of the encore, Burgess was resembling Joey in Friends when he was wearing all of Chandler’s clothes, as he was wearing three t-shirts.
The one that was visible was a green one with “SPROSTON” written on it, which he threw into the crowd, with a scrum following.
The t-short he was wearing now was one with “SALFORD LAD” written on it. He didn’t throw that into the crowd.
It probably wouldn’t have fitted me, but it would have been apt if I had caught it, as I was heading to Salford the following morning.
Later in the week, the band were announced as headliners for The Great Escape in 2018, so you can get your hopes up of a return to Belfast or Northern Ireland next year.
As well as classic hits, we got recent classics such as Plastic Machinery (Introduced by Ian Rankin on an LED Screen) and May The Good Times Be Never Ending.
The good times were never ending at The Limelight.
The Charlatans live at Falls Park 2013
The Charlatans live at Custom House Squad 2015