Gig review: The Courteeners at First Direct Arena, Leeds

Goodness knows The Courteeners know how to work a crowd, but as their adoring fans keep turning in huge numbers, the Mancunian indie-rockers keep turning on the style.

The Courteeners
The Courteeners

This was another brilliant performance which saw many of the band’s most famous tracks aired and be rapturously received by the raucous Leeds crowd.

What should not be overlooked was the outstanding support acts from female artist Zuzu, who hails from Liverpool and describes herself as “the definition of a millennial artist”.

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Then came Glasgow-born Gerry Cinnamon, who was so good that some fans joked at The Courteeners were there as his support act.

With the crowd whipped up into a frenzy already, it is time for the main act to take centre stage.

Liam Fray and his pals attract a youthful following and the standing area in front of the stage quickly becomes a huge moshpit as pints of beer are thrown by the more rowdy revellers.

Kicking off with Are You In Love With a Notion?, the temperature rises further with renditions of Cavorting and How Good It Was.

An impressive setlist continues with No-one Will Ever Replace Us, Better Man, Summer, Van Der Graaf and Hs He Told You That He Loves You Yet.

Newer material is also played as Small Bones, Lose Control and The 17th come later in the set, with my personal favourite Bide Your Time sparking a mass singalong in the packed arena.

Then it was time for the encore which features Please Don’t, Hanging Off Your Cloud, Smiths Disco, Heavy Jacket, Modern Love, Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long?

Ten years ago, one British newspaper declared of The Courteeners’ debut album St Jude: “I confidently predict that exactly no one will be listening to it in 10 years time.”

Well, it’s now nearly 11 years and counting, and the Middleton four-piece have just sold out a 50,000-capacity gig at Manchester’s Heaton Park.

And as Saturday night in Leeds showed, their music, and indeed their following, remains as strong as ever. God bless the band.