Courteeners @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, 3rd December 2015

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Many of the late 00’s indie bands are now nothing more than a shadow of their former glory, struggling to re-create the tunes that made them in the first place. The same however cannot be said of The Courteeners, who’ve gone from strength to strength building at a gradual pace throughout their career.

First up are Warrington’s Viola Beach who for the most part conjure up a sound uplifted from Little Comets, indie songs of the most poppy kind led by catchy guitar licks. Apart from noting the bands eye-catching sense of style, the same cannot really be said for the music with the set all rolling into one.

To say that the crowd were up for it this evening is a huge understatement, from football chants and sing-along’s to flare’s being thrown the second the band take to the stage it’s the audience that make tonight for the most part. Tonight is the only date of the tour, which includes seven nights at the bands native Manchester Apollo, that isn’t sold out however there’s no telling of that once you enter the venue which is seemingly full to the rafters.

Opening with Are You In Love With A Notion, the vocal accompaniment and energy from the audience is really something to behold. Once Cavorting hits, the whole venue is in complete adoration and behind the band 100%. Lead singer and songwriter Liam Fray is the focal point for the performance, backed by a glinting backdrop adorning the band’s name. Perhaps opening with Morning Glory and doing a cover of Champagne Supernova is wearing your influences too openly on your sleeve, but what’s the shame in that? Tonight see’s Liam taking to the stage solo for acoustic renditions of ‘Let Down Your Guard’, ‘Yesterday, Today & Probably Tomorrow’ and ‘Smiths Disco’ however it’s the closing duo of ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘What Took You So Long’ that truly send this evening into supersonic heights.

For a band of The Courteeners stature, tonight proves the perfect venue size in that it’s big enough to add some grandeur to the occasion but modest enough to still maintain a grass roots sense of adoration to proceedings. In both the performance and reception tonight is nigh on perfect, and for Wolverhampton it’s now just a waiting game for the band to return.

Review: Dan Earl

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