REVIEW: The Courteeners, O2 Academy, Newcastle

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.
The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

Manchester band The Courteeners had the full attention of a cavorting crowd at their sold-out gig at the 02 Academy.

The venue was packed to the rafters with one of the liveliest crowds I've seen in a long time.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The audience varied from groups of drunken young men to girls who jostled around and sang their hearts out to every single song.

More mature fans (who probably did exactly the same back in their heyday) took in the show from the safety of the venue's balcony.

Kicking off with Are You in Love With A Notion?, the indie favourites swiftly followed it with début single Cavorting, which set a lively tone for the evening.

It was so good to hear Cavorting live - after all, it's a Courteeners' classic and one which helped captivate their audience back in 2008, when they released their first album, St Jude.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

I was hoping for more songs from it, but with three more releases under their belt - Falcon (2010), Anna (2013) and Concrete Love (2014) - it was no surprise there was a good selection of songs from each.

Frontman Liam Fray praised the "young, naive" fans who were causing the crowd to sway side to side, claiming "I've been there". And he thanked them for allowing the band to continue to play live before performing Will It Be This Way Forever?

A performance of this year's Christmas charity Winter Wonderland, reportedly written by Fray on Norah Jones' piano in her New York home, added a more mellow side to the show.

All profits from the single will go to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

A cover of Oasis' Champagne Supernova was welcomed with a defending roar of applause and a huge sing-along.

During a solo acoustic set, Fray asked fans what they wanted to hear. Chants for Smiths Disco echoed around the room, and after admitting "it's been a while", he played the song, which went down a storm.

The Courteeners appear to be a humble, grounded band, interested in putting on a show to remember and pleasing their fans.

They left their most famous tracks, Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long?, until the end of the set, and which left everyone wanting more.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.

The Courteeners in action at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. Pic: Marie Westmoreland.