Tim Burgess: The Listening Party (DK) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Tim Burgess

The Listening Party


Dec 24, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Tim’s Twitter Listening Party was one of the few bright parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the world was in full lockdown in early to mid 2020. Tim Burgess, frontman for the Madchester/Britpop band The Charlatans, came up with the simple idea—having musicians live tweet while fans collectively all listen to one of their albums at a preset time—after seeing actor Riz Ahmed spontaneously tweet along in 2011 to his film Four Lions. It was showing on British TV at the time and Burgess just happened to be watching and also on Twitter. Four years later he put that idea into action, doing a the first Twitter listening party in 2015 for the 25th anniversary of The Charlatans’ debut album, Some Friendly. In March 2020, as the lockdown took hold, he did it again, for the 30th anniversary of the album. Some Friendly was an important album for Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, who bought it when he was 17, and he tweeted Burgess about it, which led to Burgess suggesting a listening party for the Scottish band’s self-titled debut. Blur and Oasis were next and the whole thing grew from there, to the point that Burgess got Paul McCartney to take part in a listening party for his new album McCartney III and there were upwards of three listening parties a weeknight and six on weekend days.

While there was a certain thrill in following along to the listening parties live, where fans could make comments or even ask questions, it has been hard to keep up with it all. Thankfully Burgess has teamed up with DK for The Listening Party, a 304-page book that compiles the best tweets from 100 of Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties. Each entry is dedicated to a different album, with an intro from Burgess on the album and then one or more tweets about each song on the tracklist. Sometimes musicians shared behind-the-scenes photos in their Listening Parties and some of those are included too.

The Listening Party covers some of my all-time favorite albums—Suede’s Dog Man Star, Pulp’s Different Class, Tears for Fears’ Songs From the Big Chair, Camera Obscura’s Let’s Get Out of This Country, Lush’s Lovelife, Doves’ The Last Broadcast, Mercury Rev’s Deserter’s Songs, The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin, Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool, Belle and Sebastian’s The Boy With the Arab Strap, The Avalanches’ Since I Left You, Badly Drawn Boy’s The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, Julia Holter’s Have You In My Wilderness, Supergrass’ I Should Coco, and on and on, not to mention my fondness for Some Friendly as well. Plus it features two photos taken by my wife Wendy (of Camera Obscura and Doves, photo shoots originally done for Under the Radar) and one by my late dad, the noted music photographer David Redfern (of Scritti Politti). So there is a lot to recommend about this book. Tim’s Twitter Listening Party continues, with parties scheduled all the way up until February of 2022. (www.dk.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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