The Courteeners on hometown gig: ‘Morrissey’s invited but we don’t know if he can handle the mud’

The Manchester band talk to NME about their Heaton Park show on Friday (June 5)

The Courteeners have discussed their massive hometown show at Manchester’s Heaton Park in the cuild-up to the massive outdoor gig on Friday (June 5).

Speaking to NME in this week’s issue, available digitally and on newsstands now, frontman Liam Fray described the show, which takes place “just down the road from where we grew up”, as “like a Champions League final that you’ve already won”. Fray added: “All we’ve got to do is put our boots on and lift the trophy.”

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Asked what the show will mean to the band. Fray said he feels it will be even more special for the fans themselves.

He insisted: “We’ve done this together with our fans from the start, so for that reason it’s the big one for them more than for us. They can get a bit of a bashing from the press so I think they feel like it’s an us-and-them thing. It’s their night, and they deserve it almost more than us.”

With two of the three support acts (Bipolar Sunshine, Blossoms) local to the area, Fray joked that another famous Mancunian could make an appearance. “I’m not sure if Morrissey is coming down,” Fray added. “He’s had his invite but I don’t know if he can handle the mud.”

Liam Fray also told NME that despite selling 25,000 tickets in 40 minutes, the band could have sold “a shitload more”. The singer described the group as “the biggest underground band in the world”, continuing: “We can do this big gig, but if you went down the street and asked ‘Have you heard of the Courteeners?’ loads of people would say ‘No, we haven’t got a clue!'”. On their critics, Fray added: “I ask them to come down – I’ll get them a ticket if they want one.”

The Heaton Park show is the first time a band has headlined the venue since The Stone Roses’ reunion shows in 2012. The Courteeners’ fourth album ‘Concrete Love’ was released in August 2014, following on from 2008’s ‘St Jude’, 2010’s ‘Falcon’ and 2013’s ‘Anna’. Read the NME review of ‘Concrete Love’.