We saw The Courteeners on the St Jude tour at the Sugarmill in Hanley; we wanted to like them but found their laddish rock slightly off-putting. Singer Liam Fray did some acoustic numbers and we thought we could sense a feeling that he wanted to branch off into more adventurous areas and leave the lads and lager behind. Sadly, we were wrong: he either stayed with the money or couldn’t realise the songs in his head. So we have The Courteeners of today: filling out football stadia in the north and playing the small venue circuit down south.
We hoped this acoustic re-recording of St Jude would reveal the hidden depths we thought we saw on that early tour, but no. If anything, it reveals the limitations of the band. We’re tempted to summarise the album as “Christ, they’re dull” but that seems a little harsh, though we can’t imagine this attracting a single new fan or helping them fill bigger venues down south.
We know someone who knows one of the band professionally, and says he’s a nice guy, which is about the most positive thing we can say about this.
Out now on their own label, Tediously Dull, catalogue number Dull0001.