THE 17TH REMIXES: OUT NOW Listen: https://t.co/dTkVCsEhGV https://t.co/tpgqeKRcPj
Having released their fifth album a month ago, The Courteeners are on the final date of their UK tour, before they head to Ireland and then mainland Europe. Whilst not quite full to capacity, it is clear from the sizeable attendance that the band remains on an upward trajectory; something further signified by the massive homecoming date at Old Trafford cricket ground in May 2017.
Arriving on stage to an Oasis hit is a sure-fire way to get the crowd up for it, so the familiar opening of 'Are You In Love With A Notion?' simply sends them over the edge. A new track, 'Modern Love' gets an early airing and is clearly a favourite already, while 'Cavorting' provides the first rabid indication of how much The Courteeners' faithful adore their debut material. Perhaps it is the band's relatively low mainstream exposure when compared to other arena acts, but few are those in attendance simply waiting for the proverbial hit single - the expected mayhem on the venue floor is mirrored across the tiers as the quartet smash through favourites 'Lose Control', 'Bide Your Time' and 'Take Over The World'. Of the other new songs given an airing, there are no surprises to 'No One Will Ever Replace Us' being well received, while 'Lucifer's Dreams' and 'The 17th' also generate a tangible buzz.
The Liam Fray solo section features the anthem that is 'Please Don't', but pleasantly surprising are the stripped down versions of 'Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly' and 'No You Didn't, No You Don't'. Neither are the most obvious from their catalogue to be performed in an acoustic manner, so it's unpredictable in the best of ways. Throw in a melodic cover of Pulp's 'Disco 2000' and you have a highlight to the set. The encore is largely a celebration of the band's first record, with 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'What Took You So Long?' providing the staple finale to a relentless rock show. Even the smallest of minorities can't ruin things when they throw active flares into the standing pit - thankfully there were no obvious injuries - and you'll be hard pushed to observe a more enthusiastic relationship between a band and its fans. That hometown show in six months' time is a tantalising prospect.
Having followed in the footsteps of fellow Mancunians Oasis and The Stone Roses in headlining at Heaton Park, The Courteeners are now on the campaign trail for their fifth album in eight years - an impressive work ethic by any standards. They'll be touring the UK and Europe in the coming months, before their crusade to play every possible venue in Manchester sees them at the cricket ground in May 2017.
Quick to get out of the blocks, 'Lucifer's Dreams' is an energetic rock piece that begins the album in energetic fashion and will slot in nicely to the band's live show. 'Kitchen' nods to Prince and features the best music-related reference to domestic chores since Freddie Mercury did the vacuuming, while a chirpy festival romance informs 'No One Will Ever Replace Us'. It's not the last time that the band produce a breezy or upbeat cut, with 'Tip Toes' and particularly the fuzzy 'Modern Love' providing energy and hooks that defy the Autumnal weather in which they are released.
Defying any suggestions that they are purely a 'lad band', The Courteeners have consistently provided more tender moments during their catalogue and this release adds to that. 'De La Salle' is a string-laden piece that interestingly muses on how historical figures would cope in modern life, while 'Important Thing' will no doubt be used by many to apologise to their disgruntled partners. Perhaps most touching is 'Finest Hour', on which Fray gives his most vulnerably performance to date - you just hope the poor bloke finds happiness, though his misery makes for some great music. Amongst this he blends the landscapes of his hometown and Paris, making for songs that are engaging lyrically and sonically. It makes for a strong case for The Courteeners to be seen as amongst the elite in British music.
When The Courteeners omitted Manchester from their last touring run in 2014, it pointed to plans for a homecoming event for the quartet, which, when announced, reportedly sold out in less than an hour. The venue has previously hosted such local luminaries as Oasis and The Stone Roses, an indicator perhaps of the mantle that Liam Fray and company are now taking on.
Not that it turns out that they need it, but The Courteeners arrive on stage on the front foot after an evening of glorious sunshine - a guaranteed way to set a positive mood at any outdoor gig. They launch into their bona fide party starter 'Are You In Love With A Notion?', and like 'How Good It Was', it is clear that the song will be part of their shows for years to come. Unfortunately it is also evident that the PA system could do with turning up a few notches as the volume far from blows you away, meaning what little conversation there is with the crowd gets lost in the Manchester night. Nonetheless, those in attendance are clearly enjoying themselves, particularly when the band visits earlier material such as 'Fallowfield Hillbilly' and 'Cavorting'. Particularly rapturous receptions are given to 'Sycophant' and 'Bide Your Time', where flares are set off for the umpteenth time - an action that can't be condoned due to safety risks, but there is no denying the additional visual impact they provide to a fevered atmosphere.
Perhaps sensing the need for a breather for band and fans, a solo acoustic couplet including 'Acrylic' ensues, but even with Fray being an engaging presence it doesn't quite work during what should be a mass celebration. The momentum is more than recovered with the likes of 'Aftershow' and the established closing anthems of 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'What Took You So Long?', but there is a feeling of what should be a great night doesn't get above being a very good night. Sound preferences aside, the omitting of singles and fan favourites such as 'You Overdid It Doll' and 'Smiths Disco' cannot be overlooked. At a running time of less than two hours and with the inclusion of 'Beautiful Head' and 'Yesterday, Today And Probably Tomorrow', it hasn't been the lengthiest set comprised of essential Courteeners. However it should be noted that the band played well and that Fray has the crowd in his hands - the quartet are not out of place headlining a gig of this size and it would be no surprise for them to be doing so for years to come.
Continue reading: The Courteeners - Heaton Park, Manchester - 5th June 2015 Live Review
Tonight's show comes in the middle of a headline tour for The Courteeners' fourth record, which hit the top three when released in the summer. The lack of a hometown date on the schedule means an unusually high proportion of the audience are Mancunians, which, mixed with the natives, results in a charged atmosphere even before the band hit the stage.
Like the album the tour is supporting, tonight opens with 'White Horses' - and the result is a similarly solid, if unspectacular, start. 'How Good It Was' immediately changes this and the room is literally bouncing, with the track getting a reception up there with beloved older songs such as 'Cavorting' which follows it up. There is a genuine euphoria throughout the crowd and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say the hardcore fans account for the vast majority present. This is best exemplified later in the solo acoustic section of the set (where Liam Fray's vocals impress minus thunderous chords and thumping rhythms) where the crowd chant for - and get - a rendition of b-side 'Smith's Disco'. It is in fact the second non-album track to be performed and 'Sunflower' also gets crowd participation, though on a lower scale. Given that the band don't perform all their singles, with the majority of the set lifted from their debut and current releases, it is both a brave choice for the performers and a rewarding choice for clearly fanatical followers.
Seemingly getting a live debut, 'International' is performed in a stripped-down manner and works well, whilst 'Please Don't' gets the same treatment and remains a huge crowd sing-a-long after all these years. The closing trio of 'Next Time You Call', 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'What Took You So Long?' crank up the volume once more, with the latter two in particular getting the sort of reaction that makes them obvious festival favourites. Fray alludes to shows in Manchester next year and, on tonight's evidence, they could be a highlight of the summer - the quartet put in an impressive performance and, combined with their fans energy, you can't fail to be swept along.
Continue reading: The Courteeners - O2 Academy Leeds 11th November 2014 Live Review
Now on their fourth album in six years and hot on the heels of last year's 'Anna', you certainly can't accuse Manchester's The Courteeners of resting on their laurels. With the festival season out of the way, the band will headline a UK tour from the end of October, whilst frontman Liam Fray has promised their hometown something special next year.
Whilst their debut saw them become a fixture of indie-discos, the indication of their last release, 'Concrete Love' saw the quartet aim for the arenas. It is a direction cemented by the crunching riffs of opener 'White Horses', 'Next Time You Call' and the delectable 'Saboteur'. However, what is gained in sonic boom is lost from the intricacy of Fray's lyrics, arguably the band's greatest asset and something that has previously drawn praise from Morrissey. Thankfully, we get a decent number of tracks that place Fray's words and voice at the forefront of proceedings - the first of which, 'Small Bones', sees him about as romantic as he's ever been. Whilst Alex Turner was originally labelled by some as the voice of a generation, Fray remains able to put to song the experiences of the man in the street; 'Has He Told You That He Loves You Yet' effortlessly describes the situation where you can see a friend being used by a partner who clearly has no devotion to her. There's certainly no questioning the devotion of the band to their craft, as this is a catchy number that swoons with the assistance of effectively employed strings.
More often than not, the band returns to a grander sound that underlines an ambition to broaden their reach. 'International' doesn't quite take off, but features the memorable couplet "You wanna talk about cocky/It's like Muhammed Ali tag-teamed with Rocky". 'How Good It Was' is an upbeat radio anthem that does a job, but lacks the content expected of Fray's high standards, while 'Summer' is a surprising turn from leftfield. Driven on a bass riff and overlaid with acoustic guitar, it is an appropriately titled song with a breezy feel and laidback hook that is infectious after a couple of listens. Crucially for The Courteeners, it is also an indication that they've yet to become creatively bankrupt and that their next release should see some development. For the moment though, this is their most consistent release to date and is listenable throughout, even if it's not always the band at their very best.
Continue reading: The Courteeners - Concrete Love Album Review
Fresh off the plane from Ibiza Rocks and feeling 'a good 12-14 years older than before the weekend' Liam Fray braves the midday sun to chat to Contactmusic.com ahead of their brilliant set on The Other stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival. He spoke about how the band's sound has changed, the new album and how he feels that famous Manchester music scene hasn't really influenced them at all. He tells us his thoughts on the line up for this year's festival and what his line up for next year would be; The Courteeners to headline The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2011?! Liam Fray starts the rumour now!
Continue reading: The Courteeners, Interview
THE 17TH REMIXES: OUT NOW Listen: https://t.co/dTkVCsEhGV https://t.co/tpgqeKRcPj
NEW MUSIC AT MIDNIGHT: The 17th Remixes - available to download and stream. https://t.co/4EpgdTzrm0
Early stage times tonight @LimelightNI Belfast! Doors 7pm, @toutsband 7:15pm @thecourteeners 8:15pm https://t.co/9bMdCpaWx3
NEW MERCH IN STOCK: Get Courteeners Winter 2016 tour and 'Mapping The Rendezvous' merch from the official shop:… https://t.co/PHVIJsrgLP
WATCH: 'Not Nineteen Forever' Live at Heaton Park from 'Mapping The Rendezvous' DLX edition https://t.co/hvVkevxvVV https://t.co/2qCQItIlSg
LISTEN: 'The 17th' is @RadioX 's Record Of The Week! Tune in online https://t.co/8DNdfTvtW2 https://t.co/4eJEstipaB
''Can you play guitar?...'' Relive 'Fallowfield Hillbilly' Live At Heaton Park Get the DVD: https://t.co/dJ9KHURuHq https://t.co/hIFIQTRm89
''Have you really thought this through? Is he really the one for you?'' Are You In Love With A Notion - Heaton Park https://t.co/RjQaxpgtsc
READ: ''Mapping The Rendezvous'' is one of @RadioX's album of the year! Read more: https://t.co/jju03frxmk https://t.co/zKdJrAnsPI
RT @NME: .@TheCourteeners @What_Liam_Said on why they chose @TheCharlatans @BlossomsBand & @ahCabbage for huge Manchester gig https://t.co/…
RT @Vevo_UK: We're lucky enough to be filming a session with @thecourteeners today. Head over to our Snapchat for a behind-the-scenes look…
RT @thecourteeners: Leeds Arena review... "A brilliant performance that overflowed with energy, verve and utter conviction..." https://t.co…
Leeds Arena review... "A brilliant performance that overflowed with energy, verve and utter conviction..." https://t.co/R5N74ZoE1X
VOTE: Nominate Courteeners at the @NME awards 2017 and you could win tickets to the ceremony!… https://t.co/60J0OHy8wd
Tune in to @gordonsmart on @RadioX from 3pm today to hear The 17th! Listen online: https://t.co/wRHavaN2aP https://t.co/AbbsIKthnJ
Courteeners will perform at @Snowbombing festival between 3rd-8th April 2017! Tickets on sale now:… https://t.co/Vi85V2bCTO
RT @Snowbombing: .@runjewels, @thecourteeners, @Novelist @GrooveArmada, DJ Koze, @PatrickTopping ++ all confirm in our third wave for SB17!…
RT @QMagazine: Do you have a question for @thecourteeners? Reply with #QCourteeners/ email QMail@qthemusic.com. £25 for each printed in Cas…
RT @CleanCutKid: There's no fanbase in this country that even comes CLOSE to the Courteeners fans. #godblesstheband
RT @What_Liam_Said: There's only one Newcastle. WHAT. A CROWD. 👊🏼 https://t.co/jmsxZDSqr9