After mammoth headline tours around the UK and Europe and several festival appearances, Liam Fray is back on the tourbus around the country. However, this time it’s in a different way - he’s not joined by the rest of The Courteeners and opts for the acoustic guitar instead.
Clearly it’s not the same experience seeing him live without the other three. The moshpits are gone, there’s far less beer thrown in the air and it goes without saying that it’s a lot less loud.
But what’s most important is the volume of the audience. Everyone in the room sings at the top of their lungs and there are moments in anthems such as 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'Lose Control' where you could swear Fray is drowned out completely. This is of course not a bad thing - quite the opposite in fact. This is merely reflective of how many memories the audience must have associated with these songs and soon enough you realise that saying this band have a ‘cult following’ is an understatement.
Fray seems to be acutely aware of this and has the audience eating out of his hands, right from the beginning. Standing tall on stage clad in a sharp suit, Fray smiles and charming his way into each and every heart in the room.
This kind of endearing nature adds a certain degree of lyrical depth to these indie-rock tunes. ‘Sycophant’ and ‘Acrylic’ shine in a much more pervious, endearing and humble light, casting away any nay-sayers who think these are shallow “lad-rock” songs.
Upon exiting the venue, there was no one without a smile beamed across their face. Liam Fray’s delightful, festive show was a pleasure shared by all.