The Courteeners
- Cambridge Junction, 22nd April 2008

If you haven't heard of The Courteeners by now then you must be dead. Tipped by seemingly every newspaper, magazine, TV host and DJ in the country as being this years "Big Thing", this is probably the last tour you'll see them on in a club type environment. Which is strange given that their debut album only came out about a week ago. But having said that, they have spent the last year or so playing every two bit shithole in the country. So it's about time really.

In theory it would be very easy for me to dismiss The Courteeners as mere hype. They are the current NME bumboys and coming from Manchester, it is all
to easy for me to think that they could be one all those all mouth and no substance type bands who just by being Mancunian seem to think this gives
them an automatic spot in the top 10. Which is obviously nonsense. Unless you happen to be Morrissey. Of course.

The Couteeners sound essentially like a Northern version of The Holloways. They are also very very, er, nice. Frontman Liam Fray genuinely seems
somewhat taken aback to the frankly rapturous response given to every song played. The Kids fucking love it. The crowd surfing rate (yes yes, I don't understand it either) is the highest I have seen it for quite some time. At one point, Fray asks for the lights to be turned on to the crowd so he can see us all a'la Radiohead at Glastonbury. It is in actual fact so he can
berate a large gentleman in a blue shirt for pushing some of the smaller people around. Go, go Liam Fray - Man of The People.

So, for a dull Tuesday night, Cambridge has a great time. But don't be fooled though. Despite the impression that certain music journalists may be giving out at the moment, The Courteeners are not infact going to solve the problem of climate change or find a cure for cancer or show you the meaning of life. They are however a damn fine live band who make great little pop songs and that anyone who has the chance to see them live should do so...

After all, you're not nineteen forever.

Richard Bull

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