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28 October 2014
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The Courteeners at Joshua Brooks

Ged Camera (gig: 13/01/07)
First act on, Nick Ainsworth, has been a bit careless tonight, misplacing the rest of Former Bullies, so it’s a solo set from him. The dim lights lend an intimacy and there’s a house party feel, as if Nick's just staring strumming a borrowed guitar.

It's A Buffalo (pic: Ged Camera)
It's A Buffalo (pic: Ged Camera)

Such eclectic sounds as Monster Mash and Run Around Sue keep the rapidly increasing crowd entertained until It’s A Buffalo wade through the assembled to the stage and take up their places. It’s all easy-going, hook-laden pop, which focuses the attention and gets people moving down at the front.

Even before the headliners, The Courteeners, start, members of the crowd are shaking hands with the front man Liam Fray, generating the impression that they’re seemingly won over before a note is played.

Sufficiently distant at the edge of the Manchester musical network (they’re from  Middleton) to be able to cast a critical eye on it without being sucked into it, the band’s reputation is zooming skyward at a formidable rate. 

The Courteeners (pic: Ged Camera)
The Courteeners (pic: Ged Camera)

Fray has served his musical apprenticeship working solo for some time now and seems settled, fitting within the structure of a band that comprises of some of his long-term friends.

From the opening notes to the final chords, the event becomes one singalong party, complete with crowd surfing and a mass of sweaty bodies shouting the lyrics back to the band. Fray is a taut bundle of energy as he bounces around the stage, feeding off the goodwill and energy that’s here in abundance.

There are no maudlin, navel-gazing moments here or if there are, they are well hidden behind the riotous sounds, and The Courteeners keep the fervent punters stomping on long after the stage is empty. Greatness, it seems, awaits.

last updated: 15/01/07
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