They've come through death, imprisonment, testicular cancer and even a crooked accountant. Now the Charlatans seem to be turning into the new Rolling Stones. Up At The Lake is their eighth album and while it doesn't break any new ground, it's just as enjoyable as anything they've done before. Having got his disappointing solo effort out of his system last year, Tim Burgess has wisely decided to go back to basics - dropping the curious falsetto he tried out on 2001's Wonderland and reverting to the Mancunian whine he made fashionable long before Liam Gallagher ever came along. And while the band's organ-driven rock is as retro as ever, it barely matters when their songs are overflowing with rollicking grooves and dirty soul. It's hard to imagine anything stopping the Charlatans now - and when Mick Jagger and co retire, they'll have some very worthy successors ready to take up the baton.
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