The Courteeners

The Courteeners


To say that Manchester needs The Courteeners is a bit like saying Sven needs to win Man City a trophy, or that Bernard Manning needs to be remembered as a vile racist bastard.

Since Oasis did a Dick Whittington and headed for The Smoke in the ’90s – and the city’s singer-songwriter bores and “student nobhead” (© L Gallagher) underachievers like Nine Black Alps dared to crawl back out of the woodwork in the ’00s – Manchester has been on its knees, begging for a band like this to kick up the fires. And, just like ‘Supersonic’ in ’94, this debut release grabs every band in the city by the throat, throttles them within an inch of their lives and totally reignites Manchester’s music scene in three minutes flat (it’s at this point we should mention that we’re also very excited by Daggers and The Ting Tings, too). Remember how you felt when you first heard Oasis? Or The Libertines? Or the Monkeys? ‘Cavorting’ is like all those moments rolled into one – a chiming, breakneck proper-’avin’-it anfum that sees singer Liam Fray stumble into a cliquey scenester club night, decree it’s “full of over-rated, dehydrated goggle-eyed girls” and stumble out again convinced he’s far too big a rock’n’roll star to bother with any of them.

Its B-side – ‘No You Didn’t, No You Don’t’ – meanwhile, has the audacity to be better still, allowing Fray to indulge his Morrissey vocal fantasies, reminisce about “doing keys” (of coke) as a teenager and tease out a riff that glides along like a ’shroomed-out Johnny Marr.

Of course, if you’re from the north-west and in the know, chances are you’ll be aware of the furore already. You’ll have seen Fray go from solo troubadour to band frontman. You’ll have got yourself down to one of their packed-out Manchester gigs. You’ll even know that they’ve written a future Number One in ‘What Took You So Long’.

If you haven’t, though, our advice is to console yourself with the debut single of the year. Oh, and to get that one-way ticket to Manchester Piccadilly booked pronto.