U.K. indie-rock band the Charlatans has confirmed its split with manager Alan McGee.
The band is now represented by London-based Big Life Management, which has also financed recording of the new Charlatans album.
McGee was the founder of U.K. indie Creation Records, which signed Oasis. He has managed various acts over the years including the Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things and the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Eighteen months ago, McGee indicated via his (now removed) MySpace page that he was getting out of management, having already shuttered his Poptones label. However, Burgess makes clear the split was less than amicable.
“We gave each other five minutes of our time and then fucked each other off,” says Burgess of McGee.
McGee managed the band during the production and experimental release of 2008’s “You Cross My Path,” and he relocated to Burgess’ adopted home of California. The album was made available free via the web site of U.K. modern rock station XFM and the band’s official Web site.
Burgess tells Billboard.biz that he has no regrets about giving away “You Cross My Path” for free (it was later given a physical release by indie Cooking Vinyl). But he concedes that its follow-up will probably be a conventional physical and digital release.
“We’re just about to sign now with someone but, yeah, I think it will be [a] traditional [release],” he says, adding that the first track to be lifted from the forthcoming studio set is likely to be a Northern Soul inspired track entitled “My Foolish Pride.”
Negotiations are currently taking place with a number of record labels to distribute the album, according to Burgess.
The Charlatans recruited producer Youth for its 11th studio album. Recorded at Britannia Row Studios, London, the as-yet-untitled album will be released in August this year.
“It’s pretty different compared to anything we’ve done before,” he says of the record, which he describes as sounding like “psychedelic punk.”
“‘You Cross My Path’ was quite fierce and quite angry but all on three chords,” he adds. “With this one, it’s quite psychedelic chord sequences but quite a brutal approach to recording.”
Burgess also praised Youth – real name Martin Glover – for reigniting the band’s creative juices.
“He’s a great producer,” says Burgess. “We kind of got on the same cosmic wave and we rode it and surfed it, and it all came out really good in the end. I’m very happy.”
The Charlatans, known as Charlatans U.K. in the United States, have scored eight U.K. Top 10 albums, with 1990’s debut “Some Friendly” (Situation Two), 1995’s “The Charlatans” and 1997’s “Tellin’ Stories” (both Beggar’s Banquet) all hitting No. 1.
To mark the forthcoming 20th anniversary of “Some Friendly” a deluxe re-mastered edition will be released in the U.K. May 17 via Beggars Archive. The band will embark on a brief U.K. tour, beginning May 14 at Glasgow Barrowland, where it will play the album in full. Other live dates include Blackpool Empress Ballroom, May 15 and London’s Roundhouse venue, May 31.
In addition to his Charlatans duties, Burgess tells Billboard.biz that he is currently working on an as-yet-untitled side project with Steffan Halperin from 2007 Mercury Prize winning dance act Klaxons. He has also contributed vocals to the forthcoming studio set from Italian dance act Crookers and recently guested on the debut EP from U.K. alt-rock act Freebass (Billboard.biz, Mar. 29).
“I think it’s really important to have side projects. It keeps things moving,” says Burgess.