As part of Radio X’s rebranding from their previous XFM title they announced gigs around the UK. Last night (23rd November) it was Manchester band the Courteeners at Leeds O2 Academy that played on their tour.

DJ Chris Moyles introduced the band and had several pints thrown at him as he graced the stage. Taking it light heartedly he joked: “You must be rich!”

The Courteeners last played at the venue in June just before their sold-out appearance at Manchester’s Heaton Park. This show is just before they embark on another sold out UK tour.

With a lack of support band, The Courteeners came on stage at around 945pm. Opening with their usual Are You In Love With A Notion they ripped the Academy apart from start to finish.

Due to the gig not being a part of their actual UK tour I, and many other fans, was hoping that Liam Fray and co. would play rarities and B-sides. St Jude classic Kings Of The New Road was a rare addition to the setlist, much to the delight of the sold out Leeds crowd.

Latest single – their answer to a Christmas song – Winter Wonderland had adoring fans getting into the festive mood singing back at the stage.

What I love most about a Courteeners gig is the raw passion that is generated in the packed crowds. Unlike many bands nowadays, the demographic of the Courteeners’ fans are twenty-something year old lager drinkers.

Missing usual bassist Mark Cupello, the rest of the band left the stage towards the end of the set for Fray to play a mid-gig acoustic set. Something that is a familiar happening at these gigs.

Personal favourite No You Didn’t, No You Don’t was performed during this section.

Front-man Liam Fray announced indie anthem Not Nineteen Forever as: “We wrote this song about ten years ago” and the ‘veterans’ of the crowd could relate to the moment they were introduced to the Courteeners.

Through this track a flare was lit in the middle of the O2 Academy, despite several warnings from security that they are illegal and anyone found with pyrotechnics will be barred for life and reported to the police.

The power was cut until the pyrotechnic was extinguished but both the crowd and the band continued playing. A venue full of hearts being sung out was wonderful to witness.

As always, fans favourite What Took You So Long closed the Radio X Road Trip for The Courteeners. Liam Fray jumped from the stage to the barrier to shake hands with everyone that had endured being battered throughout the gig by manic fans.

Before leaving the stage, they promised that the next time they play Leeds O2 Academy the Courteeners will have a new album out.


Order new album: Concrete Love – Extra Love here. It features new single Winter Wonderland as well as acoustic versions of various previously released tracks.


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