By Joshua Bean
Most band regardless of their success outside of their home city, always come home to raucous crowds at any home venue they play at. But not many bands have gathered the love and loyalty from a home fan base than indie rock band, Courteeners. Having sold out their 25, 000 strong Heaton Park gig in the summer, the likelihood was that the seven dates at Manchester’s O2 Apollo, as part of their winter tour, were going to be chaotic sell outs.
I was lucky enough to get tickets for their third night at the Apollo, Thursday the 10th of December, making it the fourth time I had seen the band. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Liam Fray, the band thanked the crowd multiple times expressing how happy they were to be playing in front of a packed Manchester crowd.
While the support acts didn’t capture the crowd’s attention, the venue was full way before it was time for their heroes to come on stage. Chants of the chorus from one of the bands most popular tracks “What Took You So Long”, could be heard continuously in anticipation.Then it was time, the lights dimmed, the curtain rose and the crowd erupted as they caught sight of the band walking on stage. With Fray walking towards the crowd hands held aloft, it was clear that the band were loving every second of being in the limelight in their city once again.
The band started as they meant to go on, suddenly breaking into “Love with a Notion” from their album ANNA. The crowd erupted and the night was truly under way. As the band quickly moved onto “Cavorting” and “Acrylic” and “How Good It Was” the crowd were given little time to rest and recover as they were thrown into, mosh pit after mosh pit. If anything is to be said of this experienced band, it is that they know how to work a crowd. The following few songs were all slower than the opening five including tracks such as “Take Over The World” “Please Don’t” which Liam dedicated to all the crowds “horrible ex-girlfriends and boyfriends” along with a rarely played track from their second album Falcon, “You Over Did It Doll”.
These slower tracks did not slow down the hyped crowd however, with flares being lit every which way and the scenes of people on their friends shoulders were common.
Liam Fray a man who always adores the closeness he can get with a crowd with an acoustic set, added in his regular three song acoustic session, while asking the crowd to donate to the homeless over Christmas, receiving applause from the crowd.
As the rest of the band members walked on stage the crowd knew they were hitting the business end of the night. We were treated to five more songs, including the ever ending duo of “Not Nineteen Forever”, by far the bands most popular song, and “What Took You So Long” another fan favourite which left the crowd shouting the words back at the band.
As the Courteeners walked off stage to a deafening roar of appreciation, everyone inside that venue knew they had seen a truly great band in action, with yet another polished and exciting live performance.
Joshua is a first year Ancient History student. He has a passion for journalism, sport and music, mainly ‘indie’ and ‘pop-punk’. Follow him on Twitter here.