Isle of Wight Festival



Absolute Radio, famous for staging gigs in unique and unusual places, created yet another moment in music history yesterday as Tim Burgess and Mark Collins from The Charlatans performed a stripped down acoustic Isle of Wight Festival warm-up gig to just sixty lucky Festival goers on Spitbank Fort.

Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell interviewed the guys on arrival – guitarist Mark Collins said “I mean we’ve done stadiums, we’ve done churches, we’ve done back gardens, and now we’re doing a Napoleonic fort in the middle of the Solent. All part of the repertoire.”

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Tim added “We did a series of shows around the first album, ‘cause that was 20 years old then, but we couldn’t wait for “Tellin’ Stories” to be 20 years old so we did it for its 15th year anniversary, it was quite emotional and all the songs have kind of certain things attached to them. I think it’s good for the band to be able to celebrate a moment in time with this gig in the middle of the sea”.

He added, “We’re on a tour of the islands right now, this today, Isle Of Wight Saturday, Guernsey on Sunday and then the Isle of Man”.

When Christian O’Connell asked what he remembered of the 90s Tim Burgess replied, “Not very much really” before adding, “but it was, you know, the nineties were our eighties if you know what I mean. The 90s never went away really, or certain aspects of it. I suppose the nineties when kind of so called indie music broke through or it was like, oh here we are, we’re the hedonistic icons or whatever you call it.”

Tim Burgess famously practiced transcendental meditation, commenting on it he said “I actually learnt on the Isle of Wight. I recommend it. I made a significant change in lifestyle when I was at a party one night and someone suggested it, and I always thought that someone who did TM would look different and they just look like the same. It was just like a friend of mine, I had no idea. And then we started talking about David Lynch and the David Lynch Foundation…”

He went to explain, “Yes, I was just a massive fan of David Lynch’s films and then as we were talking, some of the scenes in some of his films seemed to suddenly make sense, some of the unexplainable scenes seemed to make sense and even more so now”.

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Tim finished the interview by saying “We are planning on writing a new album – next year, that’s when we’re going to start it – it could be casual or intense, we’ll wait and see”.

Tim and Mark took to the stage to perform and shone through the bursts of rain and sea air to give stunning renditions of ‘The only one I know’ , ‘Impossible’, ‘Here comes a Soul Saver’, ‘You’re a big girl Now’, ‘North Country Boy’ and encore of ‘One to Another’.

The band left Spitbank Fort and headed to the Isle of Wight Festival to watch Primal Scream for the headline slot in the Big Top on Thursday night.

The band have recently announced a series of celebration shows to mark the fifteenth anniversary of seminal The Charlatans album ‘Tellin’ Stories’ first released in 1997.

Absolute Radio Presents Tim Burgess and Mark Collins from The Charlatans on Spitbank Fort is the latest in a line of one-off gigs staged by the radio station.

Highlights of the gig and an exclusive interview with the band recorded on the fort will be broadcast on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Friday 22nd June in a special ‘Isle of Wight Festival Special’ broadcast from the fort.

Check out the video of the interview below…

You can watch the performance at

For more information and pictures see: The Fort is a newly launched luxury venue owned by Clarenco – amazing retreats in spectacular locations.

For more information log on to or tune in on 105.8FM in London and the South-East, nationally on DAB or 1215AM as well as apps and digital TV.

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