A massive hole was left in the Manchester music scene when Oasis split back in 2009. Manchester has always had a chokehold on the British music scene with bands like The Smiths, Stone Roses and the Gallagher brothers cementing the city in the music map of Britain. Thankfully the hole has been well and truly filled with Liam Fray fronting The Courteeners to the top of the Manc-Music-Tree.
The venue for the indie rock outfit’s festival warm-up/album launch wasn’t in their native city but instead in neighboring Liverpool at the O2 Academy. The gig was sold out weeks in advance and they could have easily sold it out two or three times over. The Manchester fan faithful travelled in their droves down the M62 to rock the capacity venue to the ground.
Support came from Blossoms, a similar indie, Smiths inspired band from Stockport who only riled up the crowd more. Fan chants and sing-alongs came before the headliners turning the poorly air-conditioned room into a sauna of sweat, beer and music your parents would say needs a smile and a haircut.
Then bedlam! The foursome emerge through the smoke the crowd erupt as the band play one of their new songs, ‘How Good It Was‘, the tribal like commotion was like no other. Playing classic hits like ‘Cavorting‘ and ‘Acrylic‘ as well as new track, ‘Summer‘, the first half hour was one of the stunning performances of glamourous indie rock and roll the venue had ever seen.
With the virile stench of beer, youth and a good time rife in the air, frontman Liam brought it all down low with several intimate acoustic songs demonstrating the versatility of a now 8 year old band including a touching acoustic rendition of ‘Bide Your Time‘, a similar acoustic version available on their first album, ‘St Jude’.
As well as their new album, ‘Concrete Love’, which came out Monday 18th August the band also released an EP, ‘How Good It Was’, which surprised a lot of people considering the immediacy of their new album. Amongst the four track set of songs is one of Liam Fray’s most well written songs, ‘Sunflower‘, and already a fan favourite Fray played it acoustically with every member of the crowd knowing every word.
The show came to an end in the raucous fashion a Courteeners’ show has become legendary for. As fan favourites ‘What Took You So Long?‘ and ‘Not Nineteen Forever‘ rang loud a member of the crowd lit a flare amongst the chaos filling the room with an idyllic red glow.
Liam addressed the crowd with one last shout of “You lot are f*cking ace” and the show was over. The exhausted crowd left a wash with sweat, blood pumping, smiles from ear to ear and chanting the “ohhh ohhh oh oh oh oh ohhh” of their anthem, ‘What Took You So Long?‘, long into the chilling scouse night.
Since the gig The Courteeners have announced an autumn UK tour in October/November taking them all over the country and ending triumphantly at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Tickets can be found on respective ticket-selling sites.
The Courteeners Setlist:
How Good It Was
Next Time You Call
Take Over The World
Bide Your Time
Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly
Are You In Love With A Notion?
Here Come The Young Men
Not Nineteen Forever
What Took You So Long?