Liam Fray explains the stellar bill of support acts
The Courteeners are set to play yet another massive homecoming show, this time at Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford LCCC. Frontman Liam Fray has spoken to NME about what makes each of the support bands so great.
The band will be joined at the 50,000-capacity venue by West Midlands’ The Charlatans, Blossoms from neighbouring Stockport and rising Manchester band Cabbage. Fray described the line-up as ‘better value for money than some wank festival’.
“It’s a big thing for the boys,” Fray told NME. “We never go on about it but for once, if people are going to keep fucking bringing it up every time and creating this North-South divide thing, come and look at it. There is something happening here. Outside of everyone else who says so, outside of the taste-makers, we’ve done this on our own. A lot of people don’t like that, that they didn’t have a hand in it. We fucking love it.
“They’re still trying to put us down and we’re still like, ‘no it’s not working, we’re still going’. Eight or nine years in. It’s great, just fucking great, especially for the fans. It feels like such a celebration, it’ll be such a great day for us all.”
Speaking of friends and former tour buddies Blossoms, he continued” “They’re a real grassroots northern band – no fucking leg-ups from anybody or anything like that. They’ve grafted their balls off and toured extensively. Great pop songs, good lads, what’s not to love about it? It’s a proper old-school story – four lads meet at college and start a band.
“That’s what we want in this country, it should be celebrated. It gives me faith a little bit as well. None of their dads are loaded and gave them a million quid to set up a studio. They’re normal lads who wrote songs in their bedrooms like we did. Fucking great, they should be celebrated. It doesn’t matter about anything else – you need the songs.”
When asked if it was surreal to be supported by such a legacy veteran band as The Charlatans, Fray replied: “It is, yeah – but then it’s a weird one. We’re massive fans of theirs. It’s all about the trajectory I suppose, of where you are. Are we a bigger band than the Charlatans? Probably not no, but at this moment in time, probably yeah, you know we’ve done about five, and they’ve done about ten. In another ten or fifteen years, then you can compare.”
As for recent BBC Sound Of 2017 longlist nominees Cabbage, Fray said: “It’s gonna be fucking great to have them on. I’ve met them a couple of times, I’ve had a couple of beers with them but I’ve not seen them. It’s refreshing to hear lyrics like that. It’s strange sometimes – not giving a fuck, you stir it up don’t you? I think they’re going to open a lot of people’s eyes and minds.”
Asked if he thinks Cabbage will find huge success in 2017, Fray replied: “I don’t think that’s what they’re looking for, or they wouldn’t be writing songs about wanking in a quiche, would they? I’m not sure, I think it would be pretty rude for me to comment on something like that, I think they’re’ just fucking nutcases. It’s all in the gut, it’s so visceral; the kind of feeling you get when you listen to it…fucking hell they’ve got some riffs.
“It seems like there’s a lot of stuff going on in Manchester, its fun to be around at the minute.”
The Courteeners with support from Blossoms, The Charlatans and Cabbage will perform Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford LCCC on Saturday 27 May. Tickets are on sale now.