Liam Fray – Pieces Of Me

The Courteeners’ frontman talks mugshots, bromance and begging for beer.

My favourite album
‘Keep On Your Mean Side’ by The Kills
“They were the first band I properly fell in love with. I followed them round the country, went to four or five gigs. The stand-out tracks were ‘Kissy Kissy’ and ‘Cat Claw’. ‘Fried My Little Brains’ is mega too.”

My favourite lyric
‘Friend Of Ours’ by Elbow
“I especially like the line: “Gentle shoulder charge/Love you mate”. I’m totally in awe of the way certain people depict male emotion, especially as it’s about his [Guy Garvey’s] friend who passed away. It’s so powerful, yet so simple.”

My first gig
Oasis, Bolton Reebok Stadium
“It was hilarious. Me, Campbell and Conan went. The ticket said ‘Doors 3.30pm’ – nobody bothered to tell us they were on at 9pm! We were only about 14, turned up at 4pm and hassled people for beer. Johnny Marr + The Healers and the Happy Mondays were on, too. Not a bad first gig, that.”

The book that changed me
Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell
“He depicted homelessness as almost romantic. Homelessness has always been a massive issue in Manchester. Orwell stops you being so self-centred and opens your eyes a bit.”

My favourite painting
Café Terrace At Night by Van Gogh
“My mother had a big version in our house, and I remember being about 10 and trying to copy it. I realised I needed to buy a guitar because I wasn’t going to make it in the art world. It’s a nice scene, vibrant but chilled out.”

My style icon
My grandad
“Shirt and tie for every occasion. He wore Kangol way before Liam and Noel did. I’ma big fan of getting dressed up. There’s nowt wrong wi’ looking smart.”

My favourite place
New York
“I love everything about it. Last time I was there I went to the Museum of Modern Art to see the Tim Burton exhibition. The Lovely Day Café does a great Irish breakfast.”

My favourite album artwork
‘Keep On Your Mean Side’ by The Kills
“It’s mugshots and thumb prints at the police station. I fucking love that record. All their seven-inches were really cool too.”

My idol
Eric Cantona
“When I was a ballboy at Man Utd I met Cantona and he’s a fucking geezer. I was shaking, going, ‘Oh my God, you’re Cantona!’”

My alter ego
Stephen Fretwell
“My manager said I should say Fretwell for my singer-songwriter vibe. I was like ‘Fucking hell man, you can’t say that!’ Exciting that. Someone else’ll say The Silver Surfer.”