Two 90’s alternative rock powerhouses Ride and The Charlatans teamed up for a co-headlining tour and landed in Brooklyn Steel the night after playing across the East River at Manhattan’s Webster Hall. This tour marks the 30th Anniversary of Ride’s seminal 1990 masterpiece album Nowhere, as they have been playing the whole album in full, while also planning to release new material as well, which is why it made sense that they headlined the Webster show. For this BK show they switched places and The Charlatans took the lead on the bill, and they also played a full album 1992’s Between 10th & 11th, and showed their ability to get the crowd to get up and dance. Both bands were originally formed in 1988, and the pair grew up nearby one other in England, as it is only a couple hours drive from Ride’s homeland of Oxford and The Charlatan’s birthplace of the West Midlands. The two also have a similar sound, as they were both classified as Britpop for that whole musical wave that washed over our shores and very much influenced our musical scenes, even though Ride was more accurately grouped in as one of the key pioneers of the loud and hazy shoegaze genre, and the Charlatans were more closely associated with the sweaty dance floors of the infamous Madchester scene with a lot more heavy organ and pumping beats. The two band’s destiny had intertwined before though, as at the height of both of their popularities they played some highly publicized shows together in 1993 in the UK. Now, 30 years later, these two juggernauts of the music scene have found their way back to each other for a massive tour to the delight of 90’s alternative rock fans across the US.
Ride did indeed start off the night by playing their first album Nowhere in full, plus the bonus tracks “Taste” and “Here and Now” that some may remember being on their CD versions but were not on my original vinyl pressing, and after that they played ”Future Love” from 2019’s This is Not a Safe Place and the 1992 classic “Leave Them All Behind” to close out their set. Amazingly, the band is still the original lineup, with guitarists Mark Gardener and Andy Bell trading frontman duties and lush harmonies, with the rhythm section of Steve Queralt on bass and Laurence “Loz” Colbert on drums keeping the songs pumping hard. I will say theirs was my favorite set of the night, as they charged so damned hard, and songs like “Vapour Trail” and “Dreams Burn Down” absolutely melted my heart.
The Charlatans also played a classic album in full to start off their set, theirs being 1992’s awesometastic Between 10th & 11th featuring killer tracks like “Tremelo Song” and “Weirdo.” They then followed that up with an additional set of classics like “The Only One I Know” and “North Country Boy” which included an audience singalong of “Happy Birthday to You” for keyboardist Tony Rogers. The Charlatans have changed lineups more times than I could count over the years, with bassist Martin Blunt being the only truly original member in the set, although frontman Tim Burgess has been pumping up the crowd since 1989, and guitarist Mark Collins and keyboardist Tony Rogers have been keeping the songs moving and grooving since the early 90’s, and their drummer Peter Salisbury is well-known for being a founding member in another classic Britpop band you may remember as The Verve. Burgess is a master of coming up with the goofiest dance moves and keeping the vibes light and the grooves kicking. The whole band did an excellent job at keeping the tempo up, and the crowd at the very packed Brooklyn Steel definitely reciprocated with a lot of dancing and hoping around.
Article/Images: Dean Keim