The Cambridge Junction was rife with sweat, booze, and football chants Tuesday night as Mancunian indie-rockers The Courteeners took to the stage to promote their latest album, Concrete Love. The Northern four-piece performed a remarkable set that appeared to more than satisfy their loyal fans.
As the band walked onstage to The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?”, the previously tame crowd instantly erupted, forcing themselves as close to the barriers as possible. Opening with the haunting track, “White Horses” from Concrete Love, front man Liam Fray had a grin going from ear-to-ear as he stared out at the crowd who were chanting the lyrics word-for-word. As the tempo accelerated, the band swiftly moved on to play “How Good It Was” and “Cavorting,” briefly pausing as Fray called out “Good evening Cambridge! We are The Courteeners from Manchester!”
The crowd soon put their moshing behind them as they began intimately dancing to the opening line of “Summer,” played out by bassist Mark Cupello. Just as the atmosphere mellowed, the manic state of the crowd was quickly reinstated as the set went into “Lose Control,” with the majority of the crowd linking arm-in-arm for the next track as they sang along to the chorus of “Are You In Love With A Notion?” The first half of the set went on to include “Acrylic,” “Bide YourTime,” “Saboteur,” “Small Bones,” and “Take Over The World,” which Fray dedicated to any paperboys in the audience.
Probably feeling a little fed up of the audience chanting “Liam, Liam” between each song, Moores, Cuppello and Campbell left the stage to allow Fray to perform an acoustic set. The short set included “Sunflower,” “Please Don’t,” and “The Rest Of The World Has Gone Home.” Fray had to pause mid-way through “Please Don’t” to ask “Can someone turn down the crowd mic please?” as he battled to sing over the requests shouted at him by enthusiastic fans.
The infamous guitar screech of their latest single, “Next Time You Call,” bellowed out as the band regrouped, which was followed by an extended intro to “Here Come The Young Men,” which saw the band thank their fans for the support they’ve shown. Mancunian joker Fray teased the crowd as he played on the stereotype of the people of Cambridge, with the crowd playing along and heckling the front man. The show came to an exhilarating close with the Manchester United anthem, “Not Nineteen Forever,” and “What Took You So Long?”
The atmosphere of the show did not remain confined within The Junction. As fans dispersed into the night, echoes of “oooh oooh oh oh oh oh ooooh” from “What Took You So Long” could be heard bouncing off the walls of the streets of Cambridge, leaving everybody hungry for more.