It’s cute to see that childhood buddies are still holding strong and living out their dreams.
It’s also very inspirational to see that this indie band’s dream is becoming a reality.
Could we see this indie rock band step up from their own mega-gig to headline a big festival?
It’s this motivation that has kept the Courteeners consistently moving upwards. This group is bound to wow you with their performance and fully win you over due to their charm. Though not exposed as often as mainstream bands, this indie rock band is on the road to success.
Get to know the Courteeners below.
Apart from the British Summertime events in London’s Hyde Park that will be headlined by Blur, The Strokes and Kylie, Courteeners’ Heaton Park homecoming show is arguably the season’s biggest standalone gig. Though the field will play host to Parklife festival the following day, Courteeners managed to shift all 25,000 of today’s tickets in less than an hour, without announcing any support acts. It is, as Fray states with a pleasantly bemused look on his face, “mad” – and yet the band are still receiving pep talks from their manager to erase the shadow of public scepticism from their landmark achievement. “Nobody thought we’d be here,” says Fray, still compelled to silence the doubters. “Eight years in and we’re still here. It’s a vindication of our hard work ‘cos there aren’t many bands doing this.”
“We did a soundcheck before and thought it didn’t look that big, then you go out today and realise it really is,” adds Fray. There are bottles of champagne in the dressing room but for now they stay firmly corked as the group (completed by guitarist Daniel Moores and bassist Mark Cuppello with keyboardist Adam Payne joining them for live shows) concentrate on getting in the zone.
“Liam’s a great guy,” enthuses Peace’s Harry Koisser. “I reckon if I walked up and asked him to borrow a fiver when he was onstage, he’d be like, ‘Yep sure, just give me a minute to finish.'” The Birmingham boys, who spend the time before their set showing off their new luminous clothing, might be a slightly surprising choice of support band for Courteneers, but there’s mutual love between the two acts. “I think they’re funny for a start and they don’t take themselves too seriously,” says Fray of Peace. “I liked the first record but I love the second one; I went to see them and they blew me away.” Harry meanwhile proclaims that Courteeners have “grabbed the North by the heart”.
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The Heaton Park crowd is testament to their status. Tellingly, its makeup extends far beyond 18-25-year-olds lads. Keisha, 25, from Stockport has travelled down early to get on the front row, while 16-year-old Sarah from Stafford queued outside for three hours. A little way along the barrier are a group of 19-year-old Mancunian boys who hail Fray as a “lyrical genius” while a few rows back in the crowd a father and daughter, both sporting brand new Courteeners T-shirts bearing the slogan ‘Did you go to Heaton Park? Did you fuck’ (a nod to the band’s old ‘Can you play guitar? Can you fuck’ merchandise) are both spill superlatives about the quartet. “They’re from the local area and this is like their back yard,” says dad Mike. “It’s their biggest gig ever, it’s gonna be the best thing in the world. The first time I saw them it was four of us watching them in a pub in Fallowfield about eight years ago. Me and my daughter have seen them maybe 20 times since then.”
“This is unbelievable,” says Fray to the crowd at the end of the set. “It’s not just tonight, it’s for the last eight years – and it’s not just our night, it’s your night too.” When they finish, he jumps back down into the pit and spends a good five minutes shaking hands, handing out setlists and thanking people.
“I’ve got no words. That was just really fucking emotional,” says Fray after the show, physically bouncing around the dressing room like a caged puppy. Bassist Mark Cuppello emphasises that, for the band, this wasn’t just about the size of the show but its location. “I saw Oasis and the Roses here, but Heaton Park’s also where we used to come down on a Saturday when we were kids,” he says, chuffed to bits. As the champagne is finally popped, the general tone is of giddy, proud bewilderment. “About halfway through we realised that everybody that’s helped us from the last eight years is here,” says Fray. “Seeing everybody on the balcony, family and friends, and everybody on the front row too… people say it, but that’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
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