All the way
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