Having seen all 25,000 tickets sell out in less than an hour, there was no doubt this was to be the biggest gig to date for a band loved in Manchester and admired from afar. A seminal moment for the four-piece band from Middleton, who’ve been active for the best part of nine years.
Used to filling out small and medium sized venues across the country, the band’s hardy following funnelled into Heaton Park eagerly anticipating a rip-roaring start to a bumper musical weekend in this part of the city.
And so it proved.
With the sunset fading behind the stage, lead singer Liam Fray, donning a white denim jacket, brushed aside a sore throat to treat the crowd to a magnificent 22-song set, featuring the finest songs from The Courteeners’ four albums.
The latest of those featured prominently. ‘How Good it Was’ and ‘Summer’ from the 2014 release ‘Concrete Love’ had the crowd singing along in the same way as old classics like ‘Cavorting’ and ‘Take over the World’.
As beer cups ran dry and the last of the many smoke bombs were let off, the band played their biggest hit ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ before Fray addressed the buoyant crowd:
“This is unbelievable. It’s not just tonight, it’s for the last eight years. It’s not just our night, It’s your night too.”
The set ended with ‘What Took You So Long’ in a shower of confetti as The Courteeners reaffirmed their status as Manchester’s number one indie band.
The Courteeners are playing at V Festival (22nd – 23rd August)