The Courteeners | Live Review

The Courteeners @ O2 Academy, Bristol. 13.11.14.

The reaction proves that the dedicated fans will almost take anything that this band write to heart.

Walking into The Courteeners show is much like going through security at an airport; we’re patted down to an uncomfortable extent, forced through metal detectors, and a group of observant police stand across the road. Then I remembered why, this bands following is still dotted with half-cut hooligans; renowned for trouble.

I fell in love with the album ‘St Jude’ back in 2009, and to this day the record still holds a special place in my heart. Now though, the Manchester boys have adopted and honed a more dance embellished sound. Their lyrics are still renowned to address the cold social realism of northern life, which is perhaps the reason that Morrissey decided to take them on tour a few years ago. When ‘How Soon Is Now’, cuts through O2 Academy before they arrive onstage, it almost feels as if they’ve reached a new level on this tour. It’s as if a beacon has been lit for people to leave the bar and push their way through then ground floor.

Opening with ‘White Horses’ from fourth album ‘Concrete Love’, the crowd are instantly sloshing drinks upon each other. Despite being a slightly damp new track, the reaction proves that the dedicated fans will almost take anything that this band write to heart. A few songs in and the room begins to stink of chemicals; a glance over the crowd tells that someone has let off a smoke flair off and the security are all on edge. After the Brixton show of the tour was cancelled due to a similar incident, it needlessly makes a few people around me edgy, although things seem to fizzle out and nothing happens.

Oldies like ‘Cavorting’ and ‘Fallowfield Hillbilly’ bring the scrappy guitars back into play and the whole of the floor swirls like a rabid pack of dogs. This is a band with the sole intent on taking on the world, and with a show at Heaton Park recently announced - they might just be halfway there.

To no surprise, frontman Liam Fray takes his moment in the full limelight when the band leave the stage. Picking up an acoustic guitar to rattle through some favourites like ‘Smiths Disco’ and ‘How Come’, this gives the night a spontaneous feel, despite being in the blueprints from the start. But when the band return to stage to round off with ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘What Took You So Long’, you can’t help but feel that these songs deserve the big stages in themselves.

Tonight proves that The Courteeners will always hold a place in the hearts of their dedicated fans. But more importantly, that they’re a band that continues to evolve with each release.

Check out ‘Are You In Love With The Notion’ right here:

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