RT @bbcmusic: 🙌 @thecourteeners tease new music from the studio 🎛️https://t.co/SR7KX0UaOH https://t.co/bABIWKTSX6
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
On the back of a few Single releases like "Cavorting" and "Acrylic" The Courteeners have been up and down the country selling out venues for fun. All this without an album release and before the doubters start The Courteeners have been selling out venues such as Carling Academy 2 in Manchester and The Astoria in London. Not small venues by any stretch of the imagination.
It is no surprises that The Courteeners are receiving a lot of attention all the way through the music business. The fact of the matter is that these guys have put themselves on a massive pedestal and it is time to see if they can live up to it in the shape of their debut album "St. Jude"
Unfortunately the one thing that goes against these guys is that they are from Manchester (ironically). The Courteeners are straight away labelled as a so-called "Lads Band" well just listen to some of the tracks and be proven wrong.
"St Jude" is a record that has not been filled with ten or eleven tracks that sound more or less the same with the same four chords being played. They show that The Courteeners are not just a one trick pony. Lets face it they could of filled the album with ten songs that sound like "Cavorting" and the majority out there would of lapped it up, but that is not these guys way they don't sit back and play it safe.
The album is kicked off with a live favourite in the shape of "Aftershow" Which when you do go and see these guys is the opening track of their set. Fittingly the upbeat "Cavorting" follows and with tunes like this you can see why lead man Liam Fray has been dubbed the next Alex Turner, Noel Gallagher and Morrissey. This guy seems to a part of all three mixed together which sets up for an exciting song writing lead singing guitarist! "What Took You So Long" is a perfect example of Fray's unique story telling? "St. Jude" has some good meat on it but at times lacks that extra edge to make it a brilliant debut album. For me there are just too many slow tracks, which don't get me wrong The Courteeners, do OK but it's not what they do best.
Time to take a breathe and.
.Bang, the band come crashing in with winding guitar riffs and smashing drums with "If It Wasn't For Me". Although there is that Arctic Monkeys feel to it this is a cracking tune from these guys.
For some bizarre reason there are eight tracks full of nothing, no name, no music, nothing!!! Eight minutes and Five seconds of your life wasted, because you listen to make sure that it is full of nothing!! It is gimmicks like this that get on your t***s what is the point? All this just to wait for "Acrylic"! A brilliant track in it's own right but there is no need for this unnecessary build up. Annoying!
The only real thing that is disappointing about this album is that it sounds too clean, everything seems to be tweaked to perfection, which lets face it doesn't suit some bands. Look at The Libertines, the beauty about them was the rawness of their sound and if The Courteeners was left to it's own devises instead of being tampered with then it would most certainly of improved the feel to it. There is no doubt however that there is so much more to come from these lads from Manchester. Watch this space!
RT @bbcmusic: 🙌 @thecourteeners tease new music from the studio 🎛️https://t.co/SR7KX0UaOH https://t.co/bABIWKTSX6
Watch 'Not Nineteen Forever' live from #Snowbombing2017 on Channel 4 tonight at 12:10am https://t.co/0UZBmg91Qg
RT @RadioX: Record Of The Week this week is @thecourteeners 'Modern Love' Official festival banger 2017 @danocdj https://t.co/l7jrzDIcbS
Thanks for spinning 'Modern Love' @BBClamacqshow! Listen back to tonight's show here: https://t.co/4TSCIbsMKA https://t.co/fo7CBXKPoV
In case you missed the news from @ChrisMoyles 'MODERN LOVE' is @RadioX Record of the Week this week! Listen onlin… https://t.co/pyoazTYo1v
Thank you @AdeleRoberts @BBCR1 for making ‘Modern Love’ your tune of the week x
RT @tasha_bell23: when this is actually how obsessed you are with @thecourteeners @What_Liam_Said xxxxxxx https://t.co/PEZCfflqc4
RT @cainey1975: @thecourteeners Worth the early morning! https://t.co/KU1lEQ3ta8
#RSD17 EXCLUSIVE: Get ‘The 17th’ 12’’ pink translucent vinyl tomorrow at participating indie record shops. Info:… https://t.co/o30ONYs7wu
RT @NickyLester12: @thecourteeners on radio 1. What's going on!! #trackoftheweek @whatliamsaid 👊🏻 #abouttime
RT @adamread_: This week on the @MTVUK Rocks playlist we have: @palewaves @thecourteeners @MissioMusic & a video of the week from @Circa…
. @What_Liam_Said chats to @cocker tonight, tune in to @VirginRadioUK from 7pm: https://t.co/5nWSGW4AIP https://t.co/qPOmcPntbx
💘 @AdeleRoberts playing 'Modern Love' on @BBCR1 every day this week! Watch the video: https://t.co/GVToCyyX8I https://t.co/CPTDu2kJBf
RT @AdeleRoberts: Morning lovely! @thecourteeners #TuneOfTheWeek thanks in part to you 🎉🔥 #ResidentDJ https://t.co/dwNit2BAEv
RT @WorthySteve: @thecourteeners @AdeleRoberts @BBCR1 Nice one Adele and well done boys. Roll on 27th may 👍🍻
RT @VirginRadioUK: 📣📣 We've got a new #ROTW for the evening show. Hear @thecourteeners' new single #ModernLove all this week on @virginradi…
RT @Vevo_UK: "He’s just following his muse around Paris and it’s beautiful..." Watch "Modern Love" from @thecourteeners ❤️ https://t.co/UOB…
MODERN LOVE: New video out now Watch on @Vevo_UK https://t.co/GVToCyQyxi https://t.co/9xF3xqsNqO
Courteeners 'MODERN LOVE' is @AdeleRoberts 'Track of the Week' on @BBCR1 - tune in every morning this week >… https://t.co/JwvlwkVuH3
RT @NME: .@TheCourteeners @What_Liam_Said responds to claims that the band could headline Glastonbury https://t.co/wnkC2TBP0j https://t.co/…