Courteeners’ Liam Fray to play first ever gig at Smiths’ Salford Lads Club

Frontman adds that Morrissey and Marr are welcome to pop by if they're in Manchester

The CourteenersLiam Fray is set to play possibly the first ever gig at the Salford Lads Club, the Manchester venue made famous by The Smiths.

The frontman will play a solo acoustic show on August 18 and has been told he will be the first person to play a music show at the venue.

“I’m pretty sure it’s the first gig at the venue,” he told NME. “There might have been someone in the 1930s doing a little trumpet recital, but [it’s the first gig] in modern times, well since The Smiths made it the ‘third most iconic building in Britain’. Apparently it came behind The Tower Of London and Big Ben in a BBC poll.”


He added: “I used to go to Salford University and I would see from the bus in the morning Japanese and American tourists outside having their picture taken. We were joking about opening the doors at two in the afternoon so everyone at the gig can get their photo on the way in! It’s a massive landmark and it’s a pleasure and privilege to play it.”

Fray explained that he was looking forward to returning to the acoustic shows that marked many of his and The Courteeners‘ early appearances in their hometown.

“It’s nice to do an acoustic thing, sometimes the emotional synapses are broken down and lost by all the effects or the clever lighting show, the backdrop, whatever. Bands rely on it too much. So to strip the songs down and play the songs in the purest form, just a man and his guitar, is something I’ve always enjoyed,” he explained.

“That’s how I write. It will be quite exciting to do that. You get to connect with the audience a bit more and I enjoy that.”

The singer added that should any of the band who made the venue famous initially want to attend, he would find a space for them on the guestlist.

Johnny Marr doesn’t seem to have a day off, does he? Every time I look at NME.COM he’s got a new project, he’s a busy bee, and I’ve not spoken to Morrissey in a while, not since we toured, so I don’t know what he’s doing, but the invitation is open,” said Fray. “The door is always open, but I imagine it would be a bit of carnage if one of them turned up.”


Free tickets for the show are available from