This song floated back into my earshot recently, a piece of 1990 and a song that nails a feeling and a time in some ways. Then was the second single from The Charlatans debut album Some Friendly. Previous single The Only One I Know had gone top ten so the group had suddenly found themselves a fanbase, the early days of Indian Rope, small gigs and fanzines turned into something much bigger. Then doesn't scream single to me, and I'm not sure it did back then, but it is a perfectly put together song- Martin Blunt's Motown/ A Town Called Malice revival bassline, Rob Collins' swirling 60s garage band Hammond organ surfacing and diving in and out of the mix, some crunchy guitar chords from Jon Baker and that very 1990 drum pattern, a loose limbed indie- dance shuffle. On top of this indie- guitar, 60s psyche pop Tim Burgess sings softly but determinedly, a put down of an ex.
It was a guaranteed floor filler at early 90s indie nights, long sleeved t- shirts pulled over fists, flares flapping and dragging, love beads and fringes shaking around, everyone footloose and in love with themselves and each other. Happy days.
Then just missed out on the top ten, reaching number twelve but the band found themselves on Top Of The Pops doing their best not to be pop stars, looking like they just got out of bed and put on whatever they'd dropped on the bedroom floor the night before. Indie bands hitting the charts and Top Of The Pops felt like a big deal at the time, like suddenly the world was waking up to what had been going on in small clubs, the back rooms of pubs and the independent record shops.