Mark Edwards talks to The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess as he celebrates 20 years since their debut album.

A CROAKY-VOICED Tim Burgess, frontman of Britpop veterans The Charlatans admits he is exhausted at the whirlwind of the band’s current schedule, having just completed four live shows.

The five-piece are celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album Some Friendly and have a single and album ready for release with a tour to follow in the autumn.

In this fractured state, Tim can only admit to some feeling at the Some Friendly shows.

He says there was a sense of nostalgia but the lads from the North West were unwilling to give too much away.

He said: “All of us are feeling some kind of thing. No-one’s really showing it. We all agreed it was a great thing to do.

“It was tearful and joyous.”

The album made stars of the young band, going straight to number one.

“I was 21 at the time,” says Tim. “It was wild.”

Unlike many of their Britpop contemporaries, they kept going.

They have overcome line-up changes and personal tragedy — original keyboard player Rob Collins was killed in a car crash in 1996 — to release 10 albums.

Tim said: “20 years is a long time. For the first five years we lived with each other 24/7 and it gradually gets less and less.

“I respect every member of the band.

“We’ve been through a lot as a band and as individuals. I respect them as human beings.”

So what to expect from album number 11, Who We Touch?

The band have drawn from influences as diverse as country, falsetto-voiced soul and reggae, but has the look back at the first album had an effect on new material?

Tim says the debut album has become part of his “head space” over recent months.

He said: “We can appreciate it now. Because of the anniversary I can now feel and understand it.”

Still, he says, the genesis of the new album has been “random, in the best way”.

He added: “Our recording process doesn’t have any rules. But there is something still there. It is still working.

“The new album is an interesting journey. It’s definitely up there with our best.”

The upcoming tour will feature Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder — another, more surprising, survivor of the Madchester and Britpop of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Tim is glowing in his appreciation of the singer, who has returned after much publicised drugs and money problems with an album of solo material set for release.

He said: “Sean’s a legend.

“I’ve always known The Mondays. They’re music lovers.

“He’s in a good place. He’s creative again. It’s good timing.”

The Charlatans play the O2 Academy in Brixton on October 22 with Shaun Ryder as support. Single Love Is Ending is released on July 19. Who We Touch is released on September 6.