Just under three weeks ago the mighty Greater Manchester band The Courteeners announced two warm up shows in Leeds and Liverpool, before their highly anticipated sold out homecoming gig at Manchester’s Heaton Park on June 5th. Though due on stage at 9pm, frontman Liam Fray and co took to the stage at 9:30pm, possibly due to the queue of fans still snaking around the venue outside at 9pm!
Shortly after lights out and a play of ‘Morning Glory’ by fellow Manchester rockers Oasis to get the crowd going, the band opened with crowd pleaser ‘Are You In Love With A Notion?’, before diving in to a setlist of potential hit after hit including ‘Please Don’t’, ‘Cavorting’ and ‘The Opener’. Though the setlist featured tracks from all four of the band’s albums, there were a fair few tracks from their newest album ‘Concrete Love’, including ‘International’, the live debut of ‘Beautiful Head’ and the band’s next single ‘Small Bones’, which their due to film the video for at Heaton Park.
The atmosphere was electric and the crowd were fired up all night, with Liam commenting on Leeds always being a second home to the band. There was never a dull moment and even Liam’s acoustic solo section of the night included a mass crowd participation as he performed stripped back versions of ‘Take Over The World’ and ‘Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly’ from their ‘Falcon’ album. Liam also gave the crowd one request, which lucky for me happened to be one of my favourite B-Sides ‘Smiths Disco’. Shortage of time due to the late start caused the band to go straight from Liam’s solo set to the encore which included ‘Here Come The Young Men’ and ‘Next Time You Call’; another track from ‘Concrete Love’.
The band finished on a high with their most popular tracks ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘What Took You So Long?’, with ‘What Took You So Long’ featuring a little snippet of ‘Tomorrow’ by James; one legendary Manchester band covering another! The Courteeners blew the roof off the Leeds O2 Academy – the lucky people of Heaton Park are in for an incredible night from a band that really do have and give it all.
“God bless the band”
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