Middleton 4 piece The Courteeners took to the stage at Heaton Park last night to play their homecoming gig in front of an impressive crowd of 25,000, and I was lucky enough to bag one of the sold out sought after tickets.
Taking to the stage, a questionably sober Liam fray could be heard shouting “breathe it in Manchester!” before opening the explosive set with ‘Are you in love with a notion?’
Famous for their rowdy crowd antics, flares and smoke bombs, this Courteeners gig was no different, the sky filled with colourful smoke from start to finish, and flares burned brightly in front of the huge ‘Anyone caught with flares will be ejected’ signs. – Typical Courteeners fashion!
Playing songs from all 3 successful albums, St Jude, Falcon and Concrete Love, not a moment went by where Liam’s adolescent themed lyrics weren’t shouted back from the crowd, which was full of teenage boys and girls who no doubt related to the drug and young love references Fray’s lyrics are infamous for.
The set continued with classics such as St Jude’s ‘Please don’t’ and Falcons ‘Sycophant’, and the atmosphere in the crowd was definitely a memorable one from start to finish. Being in Heaton Park with 25,000 other people I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride for the Manchester band. In only 8 years they have gone from playing small grassroots venues, to headlining the same venues as iconic Manchester band The Stone Roses – Something that even if you’re not a Courteeners fan you have to applaud.
As always, there was complete mayhem as the crowd heard the opening chords for ‘Not nineteen forever’, and even the stereotypical Courteeners ‘lads’ looking for fights with everyone and anyone couldn’t ruin the energy that was taking over the park. Closing with ‘What took you so long’ I shouted the lyrics along with the 24,999 other fans, and the sense of community in the crowd was overwhelming.
Admittedly there were a few sound problems, but it wasn’t enough of an issue to have any significant impact on the quality of the performance. From start to finish the cockiness of the Manchester 4 piece was reflected back from the crowd, and as the set drew to a close and the boys left the stage, it was evident that this was their Spike Island, and they most definitely delivered.
See the pictures of the action below: