Music review: Courteeners, Edinburgh Summer Sessions

After James a few nights ago, another Manchester act, Courteeners, graced the gardens on the penultimate night of the Summer Sessions on Friday.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 9:32 am
The Courteeners. Picture: John Devlin

Courteeners, Edinburgh Summer Sessions, Princes Street Gardens***** (5 stars out of 7)Their standard intro music is Oasis’ What’s The Story, Morning Glory and tonight this is added to in the shape of a lone bagpiper playing Flower Of Scotland, which went down well to say the least and an inevitable singalong ensued. A strong start and they weren’t even on stage yet. As befits a new-wavey, post-punk act they’ve spent most of their years as the classic drums, bass plus 2 guitars but this year they’ve added keys into the mix and the fuller live sound is all the better for it.The band are 5 albums in and the set is liberally sprinkled with a few singles and album tracks from all plus a couple from their “half-way finished” new album, kicking things off with Are You In Love With A Notion? from 2013’s Anna. Front man Liam Fray is chief songwriter and he’s quite the lyricist, to quote one of many stand-out opening lines, on Cavorting he starts “Your club is full of overrated, dehydrated, goggled eyed girls”. A littlesavage perhaps but a great song.The sell-out crowd tonight is also very much in the mood for it although at their most boisterous moments, a few dafties thought it would be a laugh to launch half tumblers of (hopefully) beer into the air. A weird outdoor festival ‘tradition’ I’ve never understood.Not a huge amount of chat between numbers but they’re clearly happy to be back in the capital, telling us at one point “you look as beautiful as ever Edinburgh”. Which is nice.Some new material straddles either side of a short break, Liam and new keys player Elina Lin playing as a duo on Hanging Off Your Cloud and the rest of the chaps returning for Heavy Jacket (thankfully not an item required tonight) before playing their biggest hit, Not 19 Forever from their debut album. A song used utilised by both Manchester United and the Pro Evolution Soccer computer game. So a bit of an earner presumably.What Took You So Long? from the same album finished proceedings, Liam telling us this is the last date on the tour so hopefully the half-finished album will be in the offing soon although they may have earned a break first.

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