All the way

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Festivals -

go­ing to be here for about 10 days and I’m gonna be writ­ing – will you help me out?’. So he said ‘OK, I’ll do the words and you do the mu­sic!’ – ex­actly the same thing as he said 10 years ago.”

Wag­ner’s pro­fi­ciency as a lyri­cist was some­thing that Burgess had no qualms about.

“I was re­ally at a mo­ment in time, re­ally caught be­tween two worlds,” he says. “I’d just left Los Angeles – and a mar­riage – and I was mov­ing back to Eng­land and Lon­don, and start­ing some­thing very new in a re­la­tion­ship. So I was very happy, but also quite re­flec­tive at the same time. I was def­i­nitely at a cross­roads.

“And Kurt knew this, and I was writ­ing mu­sic with him in mind, while he was writ­ing the lyrics know­ing ev­ery­thing that I’m go­ing through. It was a re­ally lovely col­lab­o­ra­tion, a very sub­tle one. And I used some mem­bers of Lam­bchop for a few of the songs, so es­sen­tially, there is a lot of Lam­bchop in there, with me singing.”

Hav­ing a cre­ative out­let for his solo ma­te­rial could well be one of the se­crets of The Char­la­tans’ longevity. The band have re­leased 11 al­bums to date, with no breaks, splits or even tem­po­rary hia­tuses dur­ing that time. Given their sta­tus as Britpop idols, does he ever feel like they’ve missed a trick by not go­ing away and com­ing back for a mon­eyspin­ning ref­or­ma­tion tour, like many of their peers have done?

“Peo­ple do say that to us all the time – Oh, if you’d split up and come back you’d be do­ing bet­ter busi­ness’, what­ever that means,” he says. “But if you look at bands that have split and made a come­back, all the time they’ve been miss­ing, we’ve been play­ing. So I think it all evens out, re­ally.

“Bands like Blur, or The Stone Roses or Happy Mon­days or what­ever – while they’ve not been around, we’ve been do­ing two hun­dred gigs a year. I mean, I’ve en­joyed the path we’ve taken, whether there are cer­tain should-bes or shouldn’t-bes [that arise] from

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