Tim Burgess On The Power Of Listening To Music Together Apart


Tim Burgess On The Power Of Listening To Music Together Apart

Roosters are crowing and horses are clip-clopping within earshot of Tim Burgess’ Norfolk isolation bunker.

The quiet rural home, which he shares with his young son, is a world away from the rock ‘n’ roll carnage of his Los Angeles days. It’s from precisely here though that the 52-year-old has been leading the resistance against the lockdown blues with his popular online album love-ins.

Or as Tim puts it, rather more succinctly, “We listen to albums together, apart”.

“The idea is so simple, but it works on so many levels,” he says.

The opening two weeks of Tim’s Twitter Listening Party – celebrating classic albums and future favourites – appears to have struck a chord with many people left stranded on social media, thanks to insights from many of the star’s musical friends, including The Chemical Brothers.

And for the second Saturday indoors in a row, the twice nightly virtual shindig topped the trending charts, as he invited his followers to join him and former Oasis guitarist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, for a socially distanced deep dive into the band’s best-selling 1995 LP, What’s the Story (Morning Glory?).

“I wanted to do something that I thought would be helpful, or make me feel a bit helpful,” explains Tim, who sadly recently lost his father.

“I knew it would connect with people, as I’ve done it with Charlatans events.

“But I just thought if I include some people that I know who would be into it – like Bonehead, or Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand, or Ride, or Dave Rowntree from Blur, then that’s the first week sorted!”

“I thought it might be big,” he adds.

Now, with the party schedule growing quicker than the queue outside an inner-city supermarket, we asked its host about the importance of people interacting through music during these troubled times, and the release of his fifth solo album, I Like the New Sky.

How’s isolation going so far, Tim?

I’m pretty okay with it. Or maybe even used to it. But there is something about being close to people that I do miss.

I’m a writer who writes at home, but I’m also a frontman in a band and I like to connect with people.

Describe your typical listening party set-up for us. Is there food? Booze? What about dancing?

There was dancing to [Chemical Brothers’ debut] Exit Planet Dust. I’d be a fool not to!

I haven’t got time to eat or drink. I get quite nervous before it starts. All I’ve got to do is press the button and write a few tweets but it’s the responsibility.

I always have some prepared things to say, because I always want to answer as many people back as possible.


So, you know, it’s becoming my full-time job!

It’s really taken off. What’s been the main thing to take away from it, up until now?

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People are saying that they haven’t listened to an album for ages, in its entirety, and I think that it’s an amazing thing that we’ve got time now to do that.

Even though you can’t see them – unless your family are doing it – you can feel that people are there because you can see them writing stuff.

Everyone has had something amazing to say and it’s so good that there’s great new bands [The Orielles, Fontaines D.C, Pip Blom] coming and getting involved.

Tim Burgess On The Power Of Listening To Music Together Apart


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