It’s mere seconds in to Courteeners’ opening banger ‘Are You In Love With A Notion?’ at Glastonbury when flares of all colours start firing off from ravers on each others’ shoulders. Instant carnage ensues. Fresh from Liam Gallagher’s raucous Pyramid Stage set, this crowd came here to party – and the other “Liiiii-aaaaaaaaaaaaam” is gonna give it to them.
After the jangly rush of ‘Cavorting’ and the peppy bop of ‘Summer’, things relent for a moment for the yearning lullaby of ‘Take Over The World’. “Alright Glastonbury,” smiles humbled frontman Liam Fray. “I feel like we’re warmed up now”. Sadly, tonight’s set is a mere 10 songs so more of a sprint than a marathon. Still, it’s a lean and fierce crash course in what makes this often so misunderstood band so great. From the National-esque ‘Small Bones’ to the disco shimmer of ‘Lose Control’ to the understated elegance of ‘The 17th’ and pure silly pogo-pop of ‘Modern Love’, Courteeners flex every muscle to show what they’re capable of.
Doubters may have them down as the landfill indie you hear on Carling adverts, but that’s bollocks. There’s a reason they’ve landed second from the top slot and there’s a reason they’re selling out fucking massive fields and arenas. Take a look around the joy on the faces of everyone, young and old, male and female, losing their shit at Worthy Farm tonight. Courteeners matter to a lot of people, whether you like it or not. When they’re howling back “God bless the band” as they totally lose their shit to ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, you can tell they bloody mean it.
“Glastonbury, if you turn your head that way,” says Fray as he gestures towards the sunset before ending on ‘What Took You So Long’, “this is pretty much the most perfect moment we could ask for.”
Pretty much. We just could have done with a little longer. Fray thanks the Eavis family for putting their faith in them and inviting them back to Glastonbury seven times, rising from the John Peel tent to here. “Apparently rock n’ roll is dead,” he quips. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Courteeners aren’t going anywhere.
Courteeners setlist was:
Are You in Love With a Notion?
Take Over the World
Not Nineteen Forever
What Took You So Long?