Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'I'm Brilliant at Being Idle' ; Sarah Walters Speaks to Liam Fray of the Courteenersahead of Their Homecoming Gig, Which Could Be the Last for a While

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'I'm Brilliant at Being Idle' ; Sarah Walters Speaks to Liam Fray of the Courteenersahead of Their Homecoming Gig, Which Could Be the Last for a While

Article excerpt

JUST so we're clear - the now annual pre-Christmas arena show The Courteeners have got into the habit of booking does not make them the Mancunian Slade.

It is, says the band's urbane frontman Liam Fray, a booking they look forward to but will never take for granted.

"You don't want to be seen as the band that do this big gig every year, but at the same time it's a big deal," he reflects.

"I still have both of these stupidly large size 12 feet on the ground - I don't think we're a big band.

"When we see someone like The Black Keys doing the arena, we think, 'Big band that, big band'.

"But then we see our gig coming up and think, 'Oh yeah, arena in a few months, let's iron the shirts, let's get the cologne out, make the effort, lads'."

And this show - the end of a near sold-out national tour of large theatres and arenas - is something of a momentous home coming. Fear not: this isn't the break-up news to destroy the rest of us unaffected by JLS's fond farewell tour.

But it is a long goodnight; third album Anna gifted them a busy year of shows - including a two night takeover of Castlefield Bowl back home - and chart successes, and now it's time to reap some rest as a reward.

"I think this'll be the last time we play Manchester in a long, long time," says Liam, pausing to swallow the little lump in his throat.

"I don't know what the plan is next, I won't stop writing songs. There's been no conversations or anything, but we just feel like we've put in a good shift this year and maybe it's time to say, 'We'll see you soon. Ish'.

"I think we're calling it new mindset time, new influences, new space. This is 24/7 for me; the first thing I do every day is Courteeners, it's been everything I've done for eight years.

"I don't want it to be the only thing I talk about; I'm obsessed with songs but I don't want to be obsessed with the band because you lose the love for it."

It's true that being a Courteener dictates that your passion must run hot and high.

Liam and his band mates Michael Campbell, Mark Cuppello and Daniel Moores have all had to deal with more than their usual share of derogatory press from a media who thinks 'Manc music' means mediocre lad rock. …

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