Charlatans U.K. Fill the Void, For Now

The Charlatans will continue.

Primal Scream's Martin Duffy will sit in on keyboards with the Charlatans

(UK) when the band opens for Oasis at the huge Knebworth Festival on August 11,

according to a source at the label the band records for, Beggars Banquet. Duffy,

a long-time friend and admirer of the the Charlatans, is replacing Rob Collins,

the Charlatans keyboardist who died in a car accident last month. According to

the source, even though the band dropped out of a pair of Oasis dates in

Scotland last weekend following Collins' death, it "seemed like a shame to not

do Knebworth because it's such a big deal." How big a deal? Try over 200,000

concertgoers spread out over two days. The band will also play the Hylands

Festival in support of Paul Weller in Chelmsford, Essex, England on August 18.

Our source told the British press, "Martin is one of the few contemporary

keyboard players who the group feel possesses the talent, skill and passion

that made Rob's playing so distinctive." He also told us that Duffy is

definitely not a permanent replacement, even though the band were touched by

his offer and are looking forward to playing with him. The Charlatans still

need to go back into the studio to finish work on their upcoming fourth album,

which was three-quarters towards completion upon Collins' death. "They need to

find a keyboard player," he told us, "but it's unlikely that anybody they find

will be a fully-fledged Charlatan and they certainly won't have as much

creative input as Robert. They're hoping to find someone who will be half-way

between a session musician and a band member." The new player will also have to

reproduce Collins' sound on a few demos that aren't polished enough to be used

on the record as well as play original parts on a handful of songs that were

unfinished at the time of his death.