Tim Burgess (musician)

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Tim Burgess
Tim Burgess Piknik i Parken 2019 (181907).jpg
Burgess performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameTimothy Allan Burgess
Born (1967-05-30) 30 May 1967 (age 56)
Salford, Lancashire, England
Origin Northwich, Cheshire, England
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record label owner
  • Vocals
  • harmonica
  • keyboards
  • piano
  • guitar
  • melodica
Years active1989–present
Website timburgessmusic.com

Timothy Allan Burgess (born 30 May 1967) is an English musician, singer-songwriter and record label owner, best known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band the Charlatans.


Early life

Burgess was born in Worsley, in Salford, [1] and grew up in Moulton, Cheshire, near Northwich, Cheshire. [2] He moved to Cheshire when he was five. He went to Leftwich High School in 1978, which was the first year as a co-educational comprehensive school. He played for the school cricket team, and joined Northwich Swimming Club, but his sister showed more prowess in swimming. [3]

He left school at sixteen, and worked for the ICI overseas distribution department at Runcorn.


The Charlatans

The Charlatans live at The Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 2018 The Charlatans - Amanda Ratcliffe.jpg
The Charlatans live at The Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 2018

Burgess was initially the lead singer in The Electric Crayons (named after the psychedelic compilation album The Electric Crayon Set,[ citation needed ] released on the Bam-Caruso record label [4] ), who released one single, "Hip Shake Junkie".[ citation needed ]

Burgess then joined the Charlatans, who were largely influenced by acid house, 1960s-era West Coast psychedelia and the Syd Barrett era of Pink Floyd.[ citation needed ] The Charlatans' debut single "Indian Rope" was successful, and the group subsequently signed to Situation Two, an offshoot of the Beggars Banquet label. In 1990 they released the single "The Only One I Know" on the imprint, which charted in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. [5] The band have released thirteen studio albums to date.

Before the release of the 2004 Charlatans album Up at the Lake , [6] Burgess was living in Los Angeles in the US, away from the other band members who were still based in England. He explained the band's process during that period in a 2012 interview:

"I'm back in London now, but Mark and Tony enjoyed trips out to Los Angeles and we used Los Angeles as a writing tool. I loved the idea of incorporating a city into your music. We used LA quite a lot." [7]


Tim Burgess live at The Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 2018 Tim Burgess - Amanda Ratcliffe.jpg
Tim Burgess live at The Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 2018

Burgess's debut solo album, I Believe , was released in Europe on 3 September 2003 and included the track "Oh My Corazon". [8]

Burgess's second solo album Oh No I Love You was produced by Mark Nevers and recorded at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, US. [9] In 2012, Burgess explained the origin of this album:

"The root of this album goes right back to a Kurt Wagner show in Manchester. I carried Kurt's guitar to the car for him. I took the chance to ask him if he would ever consider writing a song with me. He said, "Sure Tim, you write the music and I'll write the words." That one song turned into an album and almost ten years after we first talked about it, the album is ready." [9]

Oh No I Love You also features collaborations with Factory Floor, R. Stevie Moore and My Morning Jacket, amongst others. The album was later nominated for the Artrocker 'Album of the Year' award in 2012. [10]


Burgess contributed vocals to Saint Etienne's 1993 song "I Was Born on Christmas Day", which appeared on the "Xmas 93" CD single. [11]

Burgess has twice contributed vocals to tracks by the Chemical Brothers: 1995's "Life Is Sweet", taken from their debut album Exit Planet Dust ; [12] and 2005's "The Boxer", from their Push the Button album. [13]

Burgess is a member of the Chavs, together with Carl Barât (the Libertines) and Jamie Reynolds (the Klaxons). In mid-2008, Burgess stated that the band planned to record their debut album in August of that year; [14] however, as of July 2015, an album has yet to emerge. Burgess explained in a 2010 interview:

"I think The Chavs have definitely got this mythical thing going on. They have existed and will exist again." [15]

Burgess remixed the Robots in Disguise song "The Tears", which was released in 2008. [16]

In 2009, Burgess curated the Big Top stage at the Isle of Wight Festival, with a line-up that included Killing Joke and the Horrors. Burgess later explained his reason for selecting The Horrors:

"I really believed in them from the very first time I met them. It was at the time when their first album was released." [17]

Burgess contributed vocals to the song "You Don't Know This About Me" by Freebass, the group featuring New Order ex-member Peter Hook and Gary "Mani" Mounfield of the Stone Roses. The song was released in 2010 as part of the band's debut EP Two Worlds Collide. [18]

During his time in Los Angeles, Burgess collaborated with Joaquin Phoenix on an album that Phoenix was recording at the time; however, in a 2012 interview, Burgess explained that he had not heard from Phoenix since his return to the UK:

"I've not seen him for ages... I don't live in Los Angeles anymore. The time that we spent together was a really great moment. A really great couple of months for me really. He invited me into the recording studio to work on a record and we had a really great time. All relationships with people in bands or actors I've met along the way, you meet them, you're best friends for a minute and you just don't see them at all. If you just remember them as being really great friends and in a way they are. Even if you don't see someone, it's kind of better, 'cos you never get a chance to fall out!" [7]

On 15 November 2012, Burgess performed at Manchester Cathedral as part of a "supergroup" featuring Mark Collins of the Charlatans, Martin Duffy of Primal Scream, and New Order's Peter Hook. The performance was part of a concert organised to help the city's "deprived youth." [19]

Burgess collaborated with Asia Argento on the song "Hours / Ours", which was released on Burgess's own record label O Genesis in 2014. [20]

Burgess collaborated with Peter Gordon to release Same Language, Different Worlds on 2 September 2017 through Burgess' own label, O Genesis. The Charlatans frontman originally met New Yorker Peter Gordon in 2012 and they decided then on a music collaboration. Burgess had been a longtime fan of Gordon's work with Arthur Russell and The Love of Life Orchestra. The album was produced by Gordon in New York and features many of his and Tim's previous collaborators: Ernie Brooks who played with Arthur Russell on the first Modern Lovers album, trombone player Peter Zummo, conga player Mustafa Ahmed and Nik Void from Factory Floor.

O Genesis

O Genesis is Burgess's own record label, founded in 2011. A compilation CD showcasing the label's artists was released on 10 March 2014, featuring Burgess as a solo artist alongside artists such as Minny Pops, Hatcham Social and Joseph Coward. [20]

Other work

In February 2013, Burgess replaced BBC Radio 6 Music host Lauren Laverne when she and other National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members engaged in strike action against the BBC. [21]

In 2019, Burgess made his acting debut in the short film The Bookshop as the protagonist Leonard. [22]

In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in most live music concerts being cancelled, Burgess started "Tim's Twitter Listening Party", where he would tweet whilst listening to an album with one or more guests, normally a member of the band, who would provide insights and anecdotes about the songs, recording the album or other associated items. Over 700 parties were held in the first year. [23] On 31 August 2023, Burgess announced on his X (formerly Twitter) account that there would be no more additions of "Tim's Twitter Listening Party" but it would continue as a radio and podcast format.

On 20 March 2023, it was announced that Burgess would present Tim's Listening Party, a six-part radio and podcast series based on Tim's Twitter Listening Party, which would air aired Sunday nights on Absolute Radio. The first series began on 26 March 2023 followed by a second series on 23 July 2023, which will have eight episodes. [24]

Personal life

Burgess' autobiography Telling Stories was published in 2012 by Viking Press. [25] Following the release of the book, Burgess responded to a question about whether he would have changed anything about his career:

No, because I would have had to re-write it again! Everything that happened happened because we made a decision at a point in time and at certain ages. I had a relationship with drugs for quite a long time. I'm glad it's over but at the same time I don't regret it. I must have enjoyed it because I did it for so long. It's the same with the relationship with other people. They lasted as long as they did because they were mostly quite good. [7]

In 2012, Burgess told The Daily Telegraph why he practises Transcendental Meditation:

At the minimum it de-stresses you. You get thoughts — it's not psychedelic—but things pop into your brain. John Lennon used to stop and write his ideas down; I choose not to. I'm enjoying myself so much I don't want to stop. [26]

In March 2014, during a BBC Radio 6 interview with Roddy Frame, it was revealed that Burgess is a fan of the music of both Frame and Edwyn Collins and that he invited the pair to play at his Tim Peaks Café at the Kendal Calling music festival in 2013. Frame stated during the interview that Burgess is "so positive" and both will occasionally drink tea together. [27]

Burgess lived in the US for twelve years, before returning to the UK in 2013; [28] he currently lives in London. In the 1990s, Burgess married a woman named Michelle, whom he later divorced in 2012. From his former partner Nik Void, Burgess has a son Morgan [29] [30] and is a fan of Manchester United F.C. [31]


Studio albums




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<i>Up at the Lake</i> 2004 studio album by the Charlatans

Up at the Lake is the eighth album by the British alternative rock band The Charlatans, released on 17 May 2004 through Universal and Island Records Group. As promotion wrapped up for their seventh album Wonderland (2001), Universal wanted them to follow it up with another one quickly. However, frontman Tim Burgess began working on his debut solo album in late 2002. At the end of the year, the band reconvened to write songs; by March 2003, they relocated to their own studio, Big Mushroom in Cheshire, Greater Manchester with them and James Spencer serving as producers. Recording halted in May 2003 to allow for Burgess to finish on his album, I Believe (2003); sessions would resume by the end of the year, and finish in February 2004. Up at the Lake is a pop rock album that pursues the country rock direction that they had first explored on their sixth album Tellin' Stories (1997).

<i>Us and Us Only</i> 1999 studio album by the Charlatans

Us and Us Only is the sixth album by British rock band the Charlatans, released by Universal on 18 October 1999. After touring for their fifth studio album Tellin' Stories wrapped up by the end of 1997, they played minimal shows throughout 1998 and planned its follow-up. They built their own recording studio, aiming to start recording by early 1999; sessions eventually took place in March and April 1999 with the band self-producing. Us and Us Only is a country rock, folk and roots rock album that strayed from the band's British roots in lieu of American-focused music.

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Some Friendly is the debut studio album of British rock band the Charlatans that was released on 8 October 1990 through Beggars Banquet Records imprint Situation Two. After forming in 1988, the band went through line-up changes before settling on vocalist Tim Burgess, guitarist John Baker, bassist Martin Blunt, keyboardist Rob Collins and drummer Jon Brookes. The band wrote material at a prolific rate and released their debut single "Indian Rope" in early 1990. Soon afterwards, they signed to Beggars Banquet and began recording their debut album. Between March and August 1990, sessions took place with producer Chris Nagle at Strawberry Studios in Stockport and The Windings in Wrexham. Some Friendly is considered an acid-pop, baggy and dance-pop album that draws influence from The Beatles' psychedelic period.

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<i>Simpatico</i> (The Charlatans album) 2006 studio album by the Charlatans

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