The Charlatans were joined by a number of special guests at the Royal Albert Hall on 18 October 2013 for an unforgettable evening in celebration of Jon Brookes, the band’s late drummer who died on 13 August 2013.

In memory of the indie band’s much-missed friend and band member, A Night for Jon Brookes was held to raise funds and awareness for The Brain Tumour Charity, which Jon Brookes was involved with during his illness.

Young Birmingham band Dumb kicked off the evening with a confident performance, before the evening’s compère Adrian Chiles (like Brookes, a dedicated West Bromwich Albion fan) introduced a video appeal from The Brain Tumour Charity which featured this message from Manchester guitar hero Johnny Marr:

Up next was Charlatans’ singer Tim Burgess, fronting a supergroup comprised of New Order’s Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Mumford and Sons guitarist Winston Marshall and Freddie Cowan and Arni Arnason from The Vaccines, bringing the 5,000 in attendance to their feet with 3 songs (see below for setlists), culminating with a cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. After a short DJ set from The Chemical Brothers, who were playing interval music during each break, James Dean Bradfield followed with a short acoustic set of some of the best-known songs from his band the Manic Street Preachers.

One last short performance before the evening’s headliners took to the stage came from Liam Gallagher, fronting a group made up of members of his current band Beady Eye. Due to an injury to guitarist Gem Archer, former Oasis guitarist Bonehead joined the band for the evening, marking his first performance with Gallagher Jr. in 14 years. The band played two songs from Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe.

Headliners The Charlatans rounded up the evening with a hit-packed gig dedicated to the life of their late drummer. 1999 single My Beautiful Friend, introduced by Burgess with the dedication “I think we can all guess who this is for”, held a special poignancy on this special evening of celebration for their friend; one which also saw a tribute to Rob Collins, the band’s keyboard player who died in 1996.

An encore welcomed back Liam Gallagher, who led the capacity audience in an emotional performance of George Harrison‘s My Sweet Lord, before The Charlatans finished off the evening with their usual gig-ender, the triumphant Sproston Green.

The evening could not make up for the tragedy which had been its cause, but the thousands of pounds raised for The Brain Tumour Charity and the tributes pouring in from artists and fans alike certainly make this Night for Jon Brookes one to never forget.

Image gallery

All images: Andy Paradise, 2013


Two Bottles
Supersonic Love Toy

Love Vigilantes (New Order cover)
Melody Calling (The Vaccines cover)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)

Motorcycle Emptiness
A Design For Life
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next  

Life Forever

Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over
North Country Boy
Blackened Blue Eyes
Just Lookin’
The Only One I Know
Oh! Vanity
One To Another
Here Comes A Soul Saver
My Beautiful Friend
How High

My Sweet Lord with Liam Gallagher (George Harrison cover)
Sproston Green