The Courteeners - Academy, Leicester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Courteeners - Academy, Leicester

by Lawrence Poole Rating:7 Release Date:

Heady times these, in oft-ignored Leicester. With a football team sitting proudly in the upper echelons of the Premier League and a Roy of the Rovers-esque goal scorer gleefully puncturing any defensive unit silly enough to stand before him – it’s no wonder it was something of celebratory atmosphere at this sell-out show long before a note was played.

If you didn’t know – and 1,600 beery souls were quick to remind us – non-league turned England star Jamie Vardy "is having a party" after scoring in 11 straight games, with the last of these serendipitously coming against the giants of Manchester United.

United, being of course, the team of former Red Devils ballboy and Courteeners’ frontman, Liam Fray.

At times in the city’s swish student venue, it was difficult to separate the football from the music – but, one wonders, if the quintet would have it any other way.

As their ‘hug a sweaty mate’ anthems fit perfectly in both camps.

From the riotously received Cavorting, which sent torch wielding security men running hither and dither to dismount anyone who had the temerity to get swept away with the music and clamber on a pal’s shoulders to the aptly named Lose Control, the party from the Foxes’ King Power stadium on Saturday simply rumbled on.

Splicing together tracks from their four-strong album Cannon, including latest long-player Concrete Love, it was easy to see why this end of year jaunt has seen dates sell out across the country.

From the imploring fist pump of Take Over The World to the tender Small Bones and fuzzy Winter Wonderland, there was a little something for everyone.

Although while the set was a little flabby in place (Bide Your Time and Here Comes The Young Men were examples of the potato and meat rock, which has seen many a critic dismiss them), a heartfelt solo spot saw Fray pay tribute to the hometown cult club night, the Smiths Disco in reverential style.

Blasted on by powerhouse drummer Michael Campbell, by the time breakthrough hits Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long? were aired drenched T-shirts were being lassoed around giddy heads, as this time security guards looked on forlornly as a pint was slung recklessly onto the stage.

Strangely there was no place for their standout moment to date, The Opener, but as Fray posted on his Twitter account, ‘thanks Leicester – you were loud, rowdy and proud’.

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