rip, charlatans keyboardist rob collins

It was 15 years ago today that Rob Collins, keyboardist for The Charlatans, died in a car accident on a country road in Wales.

The band was midway through the recording of fifth album Tellin Stories, which was completed with the help of Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy. By the next album, Us And Us Only, Tony Rogers had become Collins’ permanent replacement.

Arguably, Collins’ signature Hammond organ sound is what set The Charlatans apart and first gained them notice in the Madchester scene. He was a technician with an instrument that had fallen out of favor since the prog rock movement of the 70’s.

In honor of his singular virtuosity, check out live recordings of “Indian Rope” and “Weirdo” from the 1992 Reading Festival. And below, find a download of debut album jam “Polar Bear.” Enjoy:

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