The Courteeners LIVE @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush, 03.12.13

You could breath adrenaline and positive tension in the air long before the show started as fans would sing ‘Are You In Love With A Notion?’, the latest single by the Manchester based band The Courteeners which is going to be released on December 9. In London for two gigs of their tour to promote their latest album, ‘Anna’, they performed in the small frame of the O2 in Shepherd’s Bush.

The stage lights are happy sunflowers that light up the room from behind the musicians’ shoulders, the music is their sun and the magic can start. When the band appears on stage everybody screams and jumps and, in all in a sudden, the show begins: ‘Welcome To The Rave’, ‘Push Yourself’ and ‘Lose Control’ are just a few of the songs The Courteeners play during their one hour and a half long show. But it’s on the notes of ‘Cavorting’, the band’s very first single in 2000, that the public manage to lose control in a sky of raised hands and people standing, screaming and singing along with singer/guitarist Liam Fray who is, indeed, a very good trained outspoken entertainer.

Then, just in the middle of the vortex, a brief and quieter moment where the band can take their breath while Liam is performing as a solo artist with his acoustic guitars and takes everyone into country- folk sonorities. It’s just for a few minutes, as soon after his solo performance the final rush begins with the last couple of songs whose rock sounds mixed with pop melodies and a sort of psychedelic hook seem to ask the fans for a standing ovation.

Then it’s dark again and the little sunflowers on the stage can’t move around anymore. Until The Courteeners’ next gig.

Marcella Sartore