The Courteeners @ Southampton Guilldhall

First to the stage were Stockport’s addition to the never-ending list of mediocre indie bands, Blossoms. All dressed turtleneck-to-toe in black, resembling figures of the church. After the untimeliness and insipid performance of the first song, the audience were left praying that they would just get off the stage and hoping that the earsplittingly loud drums would not lead to prolapses of any kind.

Chants of “Liam” and “’teeners” echoed the Guildhall until the lights went down and The Courteeners walked tranquilly, one by one, onto the stage. Opening their set with ‘White Horses’ to promote their new record, Concrete Love, The Courteeners received a positive reception to their new material. It took the second song for a mosh-pit to befall in the centre of the crowd as fans jumped and shoved in time with the infectious riffs of ‘How Good It Was’.

Despite the setlist being filled with new material, this was not just a tedious live version of Concrete Love as Courteeners dipped deep into their musical archives, with ‘Cavorting’ and ‘Bide Your Time’ especially creating a ludicrously ecstatic crowd. That said, fan favourites like ‘Sycophant’ and ‘The Rest of The World Has Gone Home’ appeared to be missing from The Courteeners’ set leaving aficionados shouting requests at the stage.

Allowing the audience some time to catch their breath from the carnage after ping-ponging through all their records, The Courteeners departing the stage leaving just frontman Liam Fray to perform an acoustic set. Starting with ‘Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly’ moving into ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Please Don’t’, Fray soothed Southampton’s Guildhall with the mesmeric tenors of his acoustic guitar fused with his Mancunian crooning. After checking on time, Fray began playing the chords to ‘Smiths Disco’ explaining it was requested by a fellow northerner in the crowd and dedicating the performance.

Clearly saving the best for last, the encore with the full band brought the set back into full swing. Still carrying on with Concrete Love and the dipping in and out, The Courteeners performed ‘Next Time You Call’ and ‘Here Come The Young Men’ before closing the show in a full frenzy with ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘What Took You So Long’ leaving fans broken from mosh-pits and chanting their way out of the Guildhall.

Sarah El-saeidy

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