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Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Courteeners/Goldhawks - Glasgow Academy 24/3/10

What the fuck is wrong with people?
I’m standing in the Academy watching a band that to all intents and purposes tick every box for the indie loving kids and no one appears to be giving much of a toss. My heart bleeds for them.
It’s especially galling because give it a year and it is entirely possible they will be gracing the main stages of all the summer festivals, and this very same crowd will be swearing that Goldhawks are the only band who matter.
So what’s the score with the apathetic response?
Well I’m going to go out on a limb here and probably offend some people, but to me it’s because in the main the punters who fill venues this size are fuckin’ sheep. They’re unwilling to give this band the reception that they deserve because right at this moment in time they don’t exist to them.
Until they grace the cover of NME, appear on T4 on the Beach, or make the play list for Radio One, they will lack the validation from the UKs entertainment axis of evil and therefore fail to register with the crowd. It’s a bit crap isn’t it?
Even when they are ten feet away playing an impassioned set of indie rockers that occupy the middle ground between the stadium rock of U2 and the artistic integrity of Echo and the Bunnymen, or The Teardrop Explodes, there is nothing coming back at them. This is a band who are playing their little rock star hearts out and they may as well be bouncing on the bed with a tennis racket in their hands playing air guitar to the mirror for all the response they are getting.
It’s actually a strange and surreal sight to see.
If this was a live video shoot the camera would capture the band in full flow and then pan round to show an ecstatic crowd sprawled out as far as the eye could see.
That’s the way it should play out.
Instead the effort they are putting into their performance halts abruptly at the stage lip, and even if they sweated blood for this crowd it wouldn’t matter. At this moment in time Goldhawks are on the outside waiting to be let in. Unfortunately the majority are waiting for someone else to open the door and let them in before they say hello. Like I said. Bloody sheep.
Then prior to the Courteeners coming on the crowd expend a great deal of effort in bouncing about to an intro track that features Oasis and Kasabian. How mental is that? They will go nuts over a tape getting played, but can’t even raise a smile for a band who where right there in front of them doing the business with talent, style and panache.
From the response from the crowd you would have expected that the actual bands had just taken to the stage in the flesh for a surprise appearance. It’s nuts.
From where I’m standing I can see a steady stream of young men getting punted out by the security. The headliners haven’t even managed to reach the stage and it’s over for them. Oasis and Kasabian have served to encourage them to prematurely ejaculate their testosterone. They shot the bolt too early and it’s time for an early bath. What a bunch of fannies.
If the response of the crowd was verging on the ludicrously intense at this point it was nothing to what it was like when The Courteeners did appear. The crowd surged Tsunami like forward and then the jumping about erupted full force and continued unabated throughout the whole show.
This was the Glasgow crowd that I remembered from my teens. A heaving mass who stood toe to toe with a band and gave as much as they were getting, if not more.
The Courteeners probably knew that in this atmosphere that they would have to deliver and they did.
The last time I seen them was in a tent in Hyde Park and they appeared to be still at the stage of getting to grips with the publicity surrounding them. At that point they were a band who were experienced in playing clubs and were still to step up to the bigger stages of the world. Yet here they were effortlessly taking that step as if it was nothing much of consequence.
The Courteeners with their Mancunian kitchen sink vignettes have taken Glasgow by storm. I’m not too sure of it is reciprocated, but Glasgow loves Manchester. Buzzcocks, The Fall, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths James, Happy Mondays and Oasis have all found spiritual homes here and now it is the turn for The Courteeners. Glasgow has taken them to their hearts and outside of Manchester I doubt that they will get a reception like they do here.
Recent album Falcon is heavily plundered with the live versions of the tracks being far more muscular sounding than expected. This serves to allow the material to sit comfortably with the songs from their debut . Everything flows, pulses, pushes onwards and maintains the tempo. It’s pretty relentless, but no one is flagging. It’s a mass sweating singalong.
The usual plaudits for the crowds reaction are thrown out from Liam Fray. He loves us, thinks were great, the best etc etc, but there seems to be a genuine openness about his remarks. There isn’t a hint of disingenuous bullshit. He sincerely appears taken aback by the crowds reaction to the band.
Like most enjoyable gigs this one zipped past and before we knew it they were that’s them off to London to back Liam Gallagher up in his first solo gig. So no encores, but who cares because it looked like they had given us their all.
The band exited the stage, the lights came up and the crowd trickled away still singing as if they were on the terraces. This went on unabated right out onto the street. If the band had shouted everyone back then I doubt anyone would have cared about last trains home, or work in the morning and just jumped right back in there. So when people say you really had to be there I guess this is the types of night they mean.
Next time they come back it will be at the SECC. No doubt about it.
Goldhawks free track -

Nothing to do with the Courteeners gig, but here's a link to a site with some live sessions. Amongst the artists included are Iggy and the Stooges, The Fall, QOTSA.


  1. hey my man, just popped in to see how things are going.

  2. Not bad. I've been working the last few days. 12 hour shifts. Just about to head out for another. Getting too old for this daily grind I tell ya.

  3. OH I hear that matey, i have been laid off, but shit for years i was putting in 12 hour days. well try and have a good day man.

  4. Sorry to hear that you have been laid off. It's a global crisis.
    Life is getting increasingly difficult over here to. I keep waiting for people to wake up and realize that all this hardship is not of the majorities doing, but the blow back from arrogant corporations who have acted fast and loose will all our futures.

  5. I agree matey, this really sucks being laid off. But what can I do, I look for work and collect my unemployment check. Sucks bro, sucks bad, but such is life. Hey do you like the WEDDING PRESENT? I think im going to go see them on friday in hollywood. I used to really like them, i just picked up the newest album. Good shit matey!!!

  6. Just keep keeping on. That's all you can do. One of the plus sides to hitting the wall is that you find out who your true friends are. You will see this as the weeks pass.
    Hold the real people close and fuck the others.
    yep. I like the Wedding Present. They were a band that went against the flow. I admire that.
    Went to one of the strangest gigs I've ever been to tonight. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong and then the Tragic City Thieves stepped up and played one of the most anarchic fucked up gigs I have ever witnessed. It was like a middle finger salute to anyone who doubts that they have what it takes, and all in front of a about ten people.
    I'm getting some of their tracks for you and I think you will dig them.