Review – The Courteeners at the O2 Academy in Newcastle (21/11/16)

Words by Jordan Scott

Every hangover will certainly be worth it, as Liam Fray put it himself “not bad for a f**king Monday!”

It’s been a mad few years for mancunian band Courteeners. From their massive homecoming gig at Heaton Park, to the success of their latest album and the announcement of a huge gig at Old Trafford cricket ground next summer, they are certainly at an all-time high. Following the release of their fifth album ‘Mapping the Rendezvous’, the band set off on tour and spent their 9th date in Newcastle, and delivered a blistering set to a sold-out crowd at the O2 Academy.

At 8pm support band Clean Cut Kid took to the stage and roared through tracks from their EP We Used to Be in Love’, and kicked off the night perfectly. The four-piece delivered a short but energetic set with Pick Me Up and We Used to be in Love being highlights. This band are worth getting down early for, and are definitely ones to watch out for in the future.

As the lights went down just after 9pm, the room was thrust into chaos at the opening note of Oasis classic Morning Glory and the crowd belted out every word before Courteeners walked on to deafening cheers. Opening with Are you in Love with a Notion the band, like always, had the crowd in the palm of their hand from the very first drum beat. They then stormed into new fan favourite Modern Love followed by St Jude’ classic Cavorting, which sent the crowd wild amidst a crossfire of pint cups and flying shoes. Energy levels didn’t drop as they delivered a perfectly balanced set list consisting of songs new and old, Fallowfield Hillbilly and Bide Your Time set the room alight, along with No one Will Ever Replace us and The 17th from the new album serving as high points early in the set.

Midway through the night the band left the stage leaving frontman Liam Fray alone with an acoustic guitar, and anyone who’s seen this band live knows this always makes for a special moment. After a short speech, Liam delved into new release De La Salle and the crowd was with him for every single word. Then came my personal highlight of the night, when he struck the first chord of Please Don’t which was greeted by the biggest cheer of the evening. Fray concluded his acoustic moment with Smiths Disco which he dedicated to singer/songwriter Stephen Fretwell, whom he explains he “nicked the melody off”. The rest of the band then returned to the stage and ignited the crowd with Acrylic and Falcon favourite Sycophant.

Then came the infamous Courteeners live moment. Liam Fray gazes out into the crowd and instructs everyone to “tie their shoe laces” before being drowned out by the thunderous drum fill that kicks off Not Nineteen Forever, and the whole room was bouncing. After the chaos of Not Nineteen died down, the band thanked the packed-out Newcastle crowd, telling us all to never change. The night was seen out with the bands staple closing track What Took you so Long, and the crowd gave them every ounce of energy they had left

You’re always in for an incredible night with this band, who lifted the spirits of a Newcastle crowd that travelled through atrocious weather to be at the gig. Every hangover will certainly be worth it, as Liam Fray put it himself “not bad for a f**king Monday!”

Written by Jordan Scott, you can follow Jordan on twitter here

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