Charlatans Australian Tour 2018
The Charlatans are back in Australia later this month and Black Sheep Radio caught up with their long serving guitarist Mark Collins for a chat to discuss their upcoming tour, their latest EP release Totally Eclipsing as well as the essential item he'd need to take if he'd ever considered migrating down under......
Andy Mitchell: Hi Mark, appreciate you joining us here on Black Sheep Radio - How are you?
Mark Collins: All good mate, thanks for having me.
AM: Firstly, I’d like to say congratulations on the new EP Totally Eclipsing. It’s a great little collection of songs there, I’m really enjoying it. I think you’ve carried on where you left off from the hugely impressive Different Days.
MC: Thank you, we are really pleased with the way it has turned out
AM: Different Days was only released last year, so what drove you to go back in to record new material so soon?
MC: We were kind of in a ‘between-records’ phase. We had some tracks written, and we were in the middle of touring, and we thought it would be a good idea if we just recorded them and put them out there. It was kind of a spontaneous idea; we had just finished the European leg of the tour and had a free week, so we went to London and did it. We told the record company, and they thought it was a good idea to release it. It’s all come together well.
AM: Last month you hosted and played at a home coming festival in the town of Northwich (England). Can you tell us a bit about that, how that came about and what your highlight was?
MC: The band is half based in the Midlands and half in Manchester, and Northwich is a satellite town outside of Manchester. Our first manager owned a record shop there and the place became a home to us as a band, so we had the idea to do a homecoming gig. That rapidly expanded and turned into ten day affair where we had events all over the town! We basically took over the place with exhibitions, and bands playing in pubs it was great.
AM: How did the locals react to you taking over their town?
MC: They loved it! The council got right behind it and there was an influx of people coming into the town every day - the chippies and pizza shops had never seen so many people! The weather was fantastic too, it was just a beautiful thing.
AM: With five scheduled dates here in August - Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth, what can we expect from those?
MC: We’ll definitely play stuff off Totally Eclipsing, as a well as tracks from Different Days and Modern Nature… but we’ll be playing tracks from across the decades and the old favourites that the crowd wanna hear.
AM: There’s a huge amount of expats who are likely to come out droves for your dates, and one bonus of living out here is that we get to see bands like yourselves in smaller and more intimate venues than we may do back home. What’s your preference in regards to playing? Do you like festivals, stadium, or these smaller venues?
MC: I actually prefer the smaller ones where people can hit you with projectiles and you gotta be on your toes! Defo small venues where it’s hot and sweaty…yeah hot and sweaty, that’s how I like it!
AM: With being out here in Australia it’s sometimes a challenge to keep up with the British music scene, are there any new acts you’ve recently that you’re been impressed with?
MC: Well Tim (Burgess) has his own record label, O Genesis, and there are a couple of great bands in there including a band called Average Sex. They are just recording their EP which will be out very soon and they are a cool bunch of kids, so check them out.
AM: Whilst viewing the new video for Total Eclipsing I noticed Gary Neville (former Manchester United footballer) was on there. What’s the deal with him as I believe he’s played some gigs with you previously, is that right?
MC: Well he got on stage with us and played some acoustic guitar for Just When You’re Thinking Things Over at a rooftop gig in Manchester, not far from Old Trafford. He’s no stranger to playing in front of a crowd but he looked really nervous, like he was about to take a penalty in a World Cup final! He’s been a fan of ours and coming to our gigs for many years now, and continually gives us support and shout outs to his 3 million twitter followers which is great!
AM: One last question Mark, there a lot of expats listening to Black Sheep Radio here in Australia, and there are certain things we miss about the UK. It’s mostly food so for me it’s pork pies and prawn cocktail crisps! What do you reckon you’d miss if you emigrated out here?
MC: HP Sauce
AM: No need to worry, you can get it here!
MC: Oh well, I’m sorted, I’m not going to miss anything apart from watching United play.
AM: It’s been a pleasure talking to you Mark, thanks for your time and good luck with the EP and tour. Hope to catch up with you when you are across.
MC: Thanks, we are all looking forward to coming out and seeing you all down under, cheers.
The Charlatans Australian Tour Dates August 2018.
Tickets can be purchased from: https://metropolistouring.com/the-charlatans/