Charlatans frontman is barista for the day

Frontman of the Charlatans Tim Burgess spends the day as a barista at Paper Cup Coffee in Liverpool which raises funds to help rough sleepers. Tony McDonough reports

Tim Burgess
Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess behind the country at Paper Cup Coffee. Picture by Tony McDonough


Rock legend Tim Burgess has rolled his sleeves up to be a barista for the day at Paper Cup Coffee in Liverpool.

And The Charlatans frontman admitted to LBN: “This job is a lot harder than you think.”

Paper Cup Coffee opened in Queen Square in the city centre in February 2022. It was the brainchild of Michelle Langan. For several years she has run the Paper Cup Project (PCP).

Michelle and PCP’s group of volunteers offer food, clothing and support to rough sleepers on the streets of Liverpool on a regular basis. They go out in all weathers all year round.

She saw the not-for-profit coffee shop as a natural extension of PCP’s work. As well as raising vital funds for the charity, it also offers a route to training and employment for homeless people in Liverpool.

Formed in the West Midlands in 1988, The Charlatans are one of the most consistently successful English rock bands of the last few decades.

All of their 13 studio albums have charted in the top 40 in the UK. They have also had 22 top 40 singles. Current line-up also includes bassist Martin Blunt and keyboard player Tony Rogers.

Tim came across the work of PCP and then the coffee shop on Twitter and was in awe of the work it was doing in Liverpool. 

He came into the busy coffee shop on Thursday and was immediately put to work behind the counter. 


Tim Burgess, Charlatans
Tim Burgess working as a barista at Paper Cup Coffee. Picture by Tony McDonough


During a very quick break, he told LBN: “What Michelle does with Paper Cup Coffee is incredible. The idea started when I came across the coffee shop on Twitter. I really admired the whole philosophy behind it – helping homeless people.

“I just wanted to do what I could to support her work. So I donated 500 quid towards free coffees and really it just grew from that. And I’m here today and it’s brilliant. But being a barista is a lot more difficult than it looks – it’s really hard work.”

Michelle added: “Ever since he first heard about Paper Cup Coffee Tim has offered us amazing support. He really sees the value of the work we are doing here. To see him come in for the day has been unreal – it’s like Christmas came early.”

In September LBN reported how Paper Cup Coffee was offering a £10 a day co-working and events space. Called ‘Paper Cup Above’, the upstairs space accommodates up to 40 people.

It was made possible thanks to funding from Rise Construction and Central Primary Care Trust.

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