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Sunday 9 February 2020

Not Even The Rain

A poetry inspired lyric from an album that is very much part of the background of The Charlatans back catalogue. Between 10th And 11th came out in March 1992, well after the first flush of their success with The Only One I Know and Some Friendly and when the Madchester wave had well and truly crashed and receded. Their second time in the sun would come in the wake of Oasis and Britpop with the 1995 self titled album and then Tellin' Stories. In between they seemed a little like a band lost, making two albums that underwhelmed slightly (at the time though they've grown in hindsight). The band had some combustible relationships, had seen the departure of one guitarist (Jon Baker) and the arrival of another (Rob Collins) and were fixed up with producer Flood. Between 10th And 11th had a really strong single, Weirdo, led by Rob Collins funky, wheezy organ, stop start dynamics and Tim Burgess delving a bit deeper with his lyrics. The whole group at this time gave the impression of wanting to be seen as more than just five figures shaking their fringes to The Only I Know and searching for a way forward- even the album's title suggests they were caught between back then and moving on.

The last song on the album is a hidden gem in their songbook and borrows a line and its title from poet E. E. Cummings, from one of his most famous poems, 'nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands'. Over crisp drums, a fine bassline and some swirly psyche from guitars and organ, the band whip up a slow burning groove. Flood's production is crisp and upfront, there's less of the murky stew the group had live, and Tim coos some stream of consciousness words through the reverb. Early 90s psychedelia from a band finding their way. Good stuff. 

'Why don't you say it again why don't you
Save me again I can't do anything
Not even the rain has such small hands'

(No One) Not Even The Rain

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