Review: ‘The Charlatans U.K.; Love Battery’

Reviewed April 25, 1992.

Reviewed April 25, 1992.

The lowered profiles of bands such as KLF and Jesus Jones should help the Charlatans U.K. quickly seize the spotlight, as the timing of its tour and new album release will give the Manchester-scene refugees an almost unfettered opportunity to score big with the club scene contingent.

Saturday’s sold-out Palace show–simulcast over radio station KROQ–was a sight and sound extravaganza, both onstage and off-, as the band tackled tracks from its Beggars Banquet/RCA disc, “Between 10th & 11th.”

Stage divers and clothes tossed onto the stage accompanied vocalist Tim Burgess, who tirelessly jogged and whirled in place as if trying to wear out the soles of his canvas hightops.

A packed dance floor surged and responded in unison to the charismatic singer , many with outstretched arms and hands aloft, as if receiving some sort of dance-rock communion.

Keyboardist Rob Collins figured prominently in the mix, providing wispy and commanding tones by constantly switching between his midi gear and a Hammond organ. The crowd’s reaction to the Dodger Stadium-like organ intro to “Weirdo,” the disc’s first single, further solidified his importance to the set’s material.

Sub Pop, the Seattle-based indie record label that has been successful in developing farm-team acts like Nirvana and Soundgarden into major-label players, may have put its average in jeopardy with the signing of evening’s opening act, Love Battery.

The quartet showed no such promise as its predecessors, displaying little more than beginner-level playing and chord repetitions while thrashing through tunes from its debut album, “Between the Eyes.”

Fortunately, Love Battery’s set lasted only 30 minutes.

The Charlatans U.K.; Love Battery

(The Palace; 1,200 capacity; $ 19.50 top)

Production

Promoted by KROQ/GoldenVoice. Charlatans: Martin Blunt, Jon Brookes, Tim Burgess, Mark Collins, Rob Collins. Love Battery: Jim Tillman, Jason Finn, Ron Rudzitus, Kevin Whitworth.
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