Not too subtle but still fairly refreshing

What is it with Scottish crowds?

Forget ‘Flower Of Scotland’ they should just make the national anthem ‘here we fucking go’ and be done with it.

With an aggro attitude and a heart of gold The Courteeners instantly connect with tonight’s audience. Debut album ‘St. Jude’ was a triumph, breaching the top ten on the back of Liam Fray’s songwriting. Sure, the mouthy Manc reminds us all of another Liam, but his lot were hardly reinventing the wheel in the first place.

Opening with ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ the band are cast as triumphant everymen, blokes who ditched their 9 to 5’s in favour of something with a little more glamour. Tracks from the debut album are received like long lost friends, the crowd singing every word as if they’d written it themselves – and given that no one seems to know the right words, that’s a fair assumption.

The ultimate problem of The Courteeners is that self same everyman image – who wants to look in the mirror when you can look at the stars? A solo turn by Liam Fray provides a beguiling insight into the group’s formation. Stood alone, shorn of the powerhouse rhythm provided by the rest of the band, his voice sounds frail, searching to be heard amongst the crowds.

However, the songs make themselves known, whether it’s the bloke next to you with a lump in his throat or the drinks flying over your head. Perhaps The Courteeners really are like having a pint of Tennents landing in your face: not too subtle but still fairly refreshing.

The Courteeners release ‘That Kiss’ on October 6th.

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