The lights in the arena went down. The stage lights turned pink. ‘Whats the story morning glory?’ played over the speakers. The arena filled with chants and the crows went wild singing along to the well known Oasis track. Pints started getting thrown around and shoulders were mounted by smaller girls and we waited.
On November 25th The Courteeners (A British Indie Rock band) played Leeds First Direct Arena and I was lucky enough to get standing tickets to celebrate turning twenty!
Liam Fray graced the stage as he broke into ‘Why are you so in love with a Notion?’ and the crowd lost all self control. There had been raised eyebrows at the start of the tour when the band hadn’t started with this track, so it’s safe to say every single person in that audience was more than happy to hear them introduce themselves with that song.
The band played a mix of new songs from their most recent album ‘Mapping the Rendezvous’ along with older, well known tracks such as ‘Cavorting’ and ‘What took you so long’. As it was my birthday weekend and I was turning twenty, I was personally extremely over the moon to see and hear the lads sing ‘Not Nineteen Forever’.
The atmosphere at the gig was extraordinary, and Courteeners fans are known for being a bit wild. Having never been to one of their gigs before I was in awe when people started setting off flares and throwing pints around, but honestly it just added to the atmosphere of it all.
The show turned intimate when the band left the stage leaving Fray alone with his guitar to perform a few tracks on his own. Before going into an acoustic rendition of ‘De La Salle’ Fray said to the audience, ‘this song is for all of you who have ever been told you aren’t good enough. And all those bosses who are wankers.’ Ever so British.
Before ending the show the lads celebrated the end of the tour on stage and spoke about when they started out, ‘When we first started this band’ Fray started, ‘We were told we would struggle in London. They told us we would struggle in Liverpool. But they told us we would really fucking struggle in Leeds but look at us now!’ and the crowd went wild.
The lads finished with ‘What took you so long?’ and the audience sang like I’d never heard them sing before. At the end of the night the drummer threw his drum sticks to the audience and as is expected, Fray handed out the set list to a member of the audience.
I had the pleasure at the end of the night to receive a hand shake from Fray, who comes across as the most genuine artist out there.
I have to agree with the statement that The Courteeners are the Best Live British Band of the moment and if you haven’t already, give them a listen.