The Courteeners
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The Courteeners

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Band Rock Pop


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The best kept secret in music


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2008 St. Jude
UK Chart Position 4

2010 Falcon
UK Chart Position 6


UK Chart Position 192

UK Chart Position 44

"What Took You So Long?"
UK Chart Position 20

"Not Nineteen Forever"
UK Chart Position 19

"No You Didn't, No You Don't"
UK Chart Position 35

"That Kiss"
UK Chart Position 36

"Live at Manchester Apollo EP"
UK Chart Position N/A

"You Overdid It Doll"
UK Chart Position 28

"Take Over The World"
UK Chart Position N/A

"Lullaby/Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips EP"
UK Chart Position Release date December 2010


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Courteeners ended 2009 by playing the biggest gig of their career to date. The gig, at
Manchester Central (formerly G Mex), planned earlier in the year was a brave gesture from a
band with just one album to their name but when all 10,000 tickets sold out in just five days it
was clear that their fans were still with them. The night was a triumph and will surely be
remembered as one of the highlights of the year. Coming on with the kind of confidence we
have come to expect from the band’s songwriter and frontman, Liam Fray launched into the set
with a track from the band’s soon to be released album, ‘Falcon’ and the venue erupted. One
journalist was moved to comment, “…giant cheers from a boisterous throng in a mood of
utter jubilation. As they end this decade as unarguably Manchester's biggest going concern,
The Courteeners look set to spend the next one as one of Britain's most important rock & roll

‘Falcon’, will follow April 2008’s Top 5 album ‘St Jude’ and marks a huge leap forward for the
Manchester four-piece. It is one of the most accomplished albums you’ll hear from anyone this
year. Written and demo-ed in Manchester’s Airtight studios, recorded in Belgium’s ICP Studios
with producer Ed Buller – of Suede, Pulp and White Lies fame – over seven weeks and mixed at
Electric Lady Studios in New York with Michael Brauer, it’s a truly beautiful record, one that
isn’t afraid to wear its author’s heart on its sleeve both lyrically and musically; think the
panoramic, soaring soundscape of Elbow, the emotion, solace and romance of The Verve and the
down to earth honesty and sensitivity of Morrissey. This record is that good.

It’s no surprise really because Liam knows his music history. He was raised on The Beatles,
Motown and the girl group sounds of The Ronettes and The Shangri-Las; later he raided his
older sister’s collection for New Order and The Smiths – both Morrissey and Johnny Marr are
fans. Morrissey invited the group to support him on tour in March and April this year while
Johnny Marr heaped praise on Liam when he supported The Cribs in Manchester at an XFM
show earlier this month. “It was amazing finding out they like our stuff,” says Liam. “I got my
first guitar when I was 13, I started by trying to learn The Smiths songbook but it was way too
difficult, so when that wasn’t happening I tried the easy Beatles songs, and bits of Blur, Suede
and Oasis.” It was The Strokes and hearing 2001’s ‘Is This It’ though which made Liam think,
“That’s what I want to do, they looked good, they sounded good. They were the benchmark. I
just loved the idea of being in a band, I used to write lyrics down and I started turning them
into songs when I was 15, 16. I did my first gig shortly after, just me and an acoustic guitar in a
pub, and it snowballed. Word of mouth travelled fast, by 18 I was starting to take it really
seriously, that I could make a living from doing this. I’d be playing all my own stuff, songs like
‘What Took You So Long’ and ‘Cavorting’ which ended up on the first record.”

The son of teachers, Liam wrote both songs while working in Manchester’s Fred Perry clothes
shop. “The shop was up a side street, it had a dead friendly atmosphere, everyone got on really
well, I’d be writing songs in there all day; listening to The Smiths, The Strokes, Motown and
jotting down lyrics when they came to me. I wrote the words to ‘Cavorting’ on the back of a
Fred Perry compliment slip, and I’d be listening to the records and it would be like, I love that
drum beat, I’ll nick that and I’d jot down the timing of it and go home and try the part out on a
drum kit I’d bought for £60.”

It was at that point he decided to form a band. And he looked to his pals for help. First he got
in Michael Campbell, the drummer, then came Conan Moores on guitar and Mark Cuppello on bass
and as The Courteeners, they played their first gig at Manchester’s Roadhouse in October

“Things moved pretty quickly,” says Liam. An early gig at the Night And Day café in Manchester
was pivotal. “We were down to support Blood Red Shoes that night but they pulled out and we
were left as the headliners. Everyone had been told the gig had been cancelled as the
headliners had pulled out so we were feeling kind of downhearted. When we turned up at the
venue at to play there were 100 people outside waiting in a line who couldn’t get in because it
was sold out. We were like, ‘what you’re here to see us?’ We couldn’t believe it. That was when I
thought, let’s do this thing properly. Up until then it was an excuse to go out and have fun, but
now it was like, this is what I’m doing. I dropped out of university then.”

Singles ’Cavorting’, released in August 2007 and ‘Acrylic’ released in October 2007 captured the
group’s raw, jagged live sound.” What was good about not having been in a band that long, was
that we were very raw, we weren’t calculated at all, it was never a