Courteeners’ Liam Fray on how jamming to The Strokes and nights out in Manchester inspired ‘Not Nineteen Forever’

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Courteeners‘ Liam Fray has explained how jamming to The Strokes and nights at Manchester indie clubs their classic single ‘Not Nineteen Forever’. Watch our full ‘Song Stories’ video above.

Taken from their 2008 debut ‘St Jude‘, the track has become an indie dancefloor staple and highlight of the band’s live set. Speaking to NME, frontman Liam Fray told us how it all started when trying to play a Strokes song in his bedroom.

“I was trying to play ‘Someday’ on the end of my bed on my unplugged Telecaster, and I got the chords kind of muddled up a little bit,” Fray told NME. “It was a happy accident. I was like, ‘That sounds pretty good’.


“I was living with my mum and dad at the time and I never used to play them anything. God, no! My dad was walking past and was like, ‘Oh, that sounds good’. Straight away, I was like, ‘That needs to go in the bin then, what the hell do you know?’ But lo and behold, Kenny knows what he’s on about.”

Courteeners Liam Fray. Credit: Jenn Five/NME

As for the lyrics, the frontman explained how Manchester revellers might be able to relate to some of the imagery – inspired by one of the city’s most beloved clubs.

“‘Front crawl the crowd down the stairs‘ is about when we used to go to this club in Manchester called 42s (42nd Street),” he said. “You know, you have 800 kids who want to leave and get to the next party so they leave at the same time to find someone. On more than one occasion, I would front crawl and crowdsurf down the stairs.

“That’s a really evocative image. I can still see it now. It was 2003 so there were girls in their fishnets and eyeliner with every guy looking like Pete [Doherty] and Carl [Barat, The Libertines].”

Courteeners Liam Fray. Credit: Jenn Five/NME


As well as remembering the caffeine-fuelled music video and the band’s hectic rise to fame, Fray also told us about the unexpected impact and legacy of the track.

“When we did it, there was no way that we thought it was the stand-out single,” said Fray. “We thought it might be a single, but not more so than ‘Bide Your Time’ or ‘Cavorting’. It is kind of surreal when one song takes on a life of its own.”

He added: “One good thing I did, though, was say goodbye to a DFS advert. Before the album came out, we got offered a lot of money for that. The label were like, ‘This is great. This is money in the bank’. They sat me down and were like, ‘Are you kidding?’ I said no, and thank god because it would have been the fucking DFS song. The sofa song…”

Following the release of their acclaimed sixth album ‘More. Again. Forever’, this summer will see Courteeners support Kings Of Leon at Finsbury Park, as well as performing on the main stage at Reading & Leeds festival and headlining TRNSMT.

Their latest single is ‘Hanging Off Your Cloud’. Check out the video below.