Anyone who turned up at Manchester Cathedral on the evening of Thursday November 15th 2012 could be forgiven for thinking they’d walked into the wrong place.
For instead of the usual choir, the music was being provided by a Manchester supergroup to help the city’s deprived youth. And what music it was.
Performing were none other than Mark Collins of The Charlatans, Peter Hook of New Order and Primal Scream’s Martin Duffy.
Joining them was one of Manchester’s most creative artists – singer-songwriter, record label owner and Charlatans’ lead singer Tim Burgess.
His career has seen him record widely in the UK and Los Angeles, collaborate with actor Joaquin Phoenix and curate the Big top stage at the Isle of Wight festival in 2009.
Burgess was born in Salford in May 1967 but grew up in Northwich, Cheshire. He began his musical career as the lead singer of The Electric Crayons.
The group released one single, Hip Shake Junkie, before Burgess joined Indie rock band The Charlatans – and never looked back.
The Charlatans have produced three number one UK albums as well as four Top Ten singles. What’s more, every one of their 13 albums have reached the Top 40.
Their UK single hits include the songs The Only One I Know and One to Another.
Usually associated with the Madchester music scene, The Charlatans actually began life in the West Midlands – the home of bassist Martin Blunt and keyboard player Rob Collins.
Their early demo tapes, recorded in Birmingham in 1998, were influenced by West Midland bands like the Spencer Davis Group and Dexys Midnight Runners.
But the band had relocated to Northwich before releasing their debut single Indian Rope on their own Dead Good Records label in 1990.
The group then signed with the Situation Two label to release the single The Only One I Know. The debut album, Some Friendly, was recorded the same year.
Burgess spent some years in Los Angeles before the release of The Charlatans’ 2004 album Up at the Lake. He also worked on his solo album I Believe, which included the track Oh My Corazon.
His second solo album, Oh No I Love You, traced its origins back to Manchester. Burgess carried American singer Kurt Wagner’s guitar for him when he performed on tour in the city and asked if he could write a song with him.
Burgess wrote the music while Wagner took care of the lyrics – and ten years after the meeting the song grew into an album.
The LP, nominated for the Artrocker Album of the Year award in 2012, also included collaborations with London band Factory Floor and American instrumentalist R. Stevie Moore.
Burgess has also provided vocals for The Chemical Brothers and Saint Etienne. He became a member of The Chavs along with Carl Barat of The Libertines and Jamie Reynolds of The Klaxons in 2004.
His collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix came during his time in the USA. The pair worked on an album together, but Burgess lost touch with him when he returned to the UK.
Burgess founded his own record label O Genesis in 2011.