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cliques?

Life readers will have been first alerted to the talents of Liam Fray when we profiled him just over 12 months ago.

"The first time everyone started singing the words back to me was really weird," admits Liam.

Liam defends: "If I see people fighting in the crowd, I'll go in there and drag them out myself. I'm all for people getting excited at gigs, but if you get so excited you have to start punching people, then you've got serious issues."

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"I don't think any other new band in Manchester could pull off what we're doing next week," says Liam. "It's gonna be an epic night. And by no means are we the finished article yet. We're gonna get better. We're waiting for a big label to come along. We've got ambition, tons of it."

It was only inevitable then that he would recruit a full band (them being Conan on guitar, Cupello on bass, and Campbell on drums) to bring his songs alive.

Just how is it that The Courteeners an unsigned band who've been together for just six months inspire such reactions from their fans?

Is that why The Courteeners are important? Because they operate outside of Manchester's cool Air Max 90 Varsity Red

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"When you see most bands these days, you get a bit cautious about going near the front, you play it cool. I think with this band, people want to go right to the front of the stage and scream the words out at the top of their lungs." How do the band feel about the rowdier element of their audiences?

All hailing from Middleton ("All this band grew up within a few streets of each other, we're been best friends since the age of 10. I think all the best bands have that shared history", insists Liam), they crucially know Manchester very well.

His solo gigs saw him touted as a teen laureate, modern Britain's answer to Morrissey or Ray Davies, and, like his heroes, he was someone who could sum up a lifetime's worth of anguish in one smart, intelligent and touching line.

On Tuesday, The Courteeners cap a wonderful year with their first full scale headline show at Jabez Clegg, fully expecting to sell out the 400 capacity Oxford Road venue. The gig promises to be a belter.

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Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Women

It was magnificent, visceral carnage. But was this a fight in or a love in? No one's really certain yet. But what is certain, is that the band the band former Stone Rose John Squire has tipped for huge success can't be contained anymore. This Manc rock revolution is going overground.

Playing to a sold out crowd at the Joshua Brooks venue, 200 or so ecstatic fans transformed the tiny venue into a scene of riotous rock'n'roll. People sang, crowd surfed, pogo ed, invaded the stage, and at one point, a brawl broke out.

The Courteeners' appearance at In The City this year was one of the music festival's truly legendary "I was there" moments, an event already cemented in Manc gigging folklore.

SCALE riot or exhilarating outburst of fan adoration? Devotion or destruction? Sometimes, when you go along to a Courteeners concert, it's hard to tell the difference.

"A Courteeners gig is a place where people feel like they can lose their inhibitions," says the band's frontman Liam Fray, between gulps of cider in Oldham Street boozer The Castle.

The Courteeners play Jabez Clegg on Tuesday, December 12 with support from The Headlines. 5. Call 0161 832 1111. Visit

The expression 'people's band' gets overused an awful lot in music, but The Courteeners fit the title to a tee. They've got the adoring fanbase, they've got that healthy gang mentality thing, but most importantly, they simply know what it's like to be young and buzzing with ambition.

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"We were playing the Late Room, and I stepped back from the microphone during Fallowfield Hillbilly and the entire room sang back the line in the chorus. It was top, and a real ego boost."

All in their early twenties, they're Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Women smart enough to have witnessed all the changes to Manchester music in the last decade or so. They've seen supposedly amazing new club nights, bands and record labels alter the face of Manchester music for the better. And frankly, The Courteeners aren't buying any of it.

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Major record labels are you listening?

If you feel we have made an error in a report, or have fallen below our usual high standards, please write in the first instance to: Rob Irvine, editor, Manchester Evening News, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 8EP.

Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Women

Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Women

Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Women

But the truth was that the path of the acoustic troubadour was not for him. Informed by the likes of Morrissey and Mike Skinner, Fray was already penning wonderfully acerbic, cutting pop punk songs by the age of 19.

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"Manchester hasn't had something for ages to get really get excited about until us. People who come to our gigs don't care about labels or what's fashionable. Courteeners fans are just normal people, turned on by good music.

"These days, people are thick. They'll read on MySpace that New Graffiti or someone rubbish are playing a secret gig inside of a crisp packet, and they'll think 'oh, that's well cool and underground. I'd best go to that'."

Songs such as future indie dancefloor classic Acrylic, or the Motown style epic Please Don't and, best of all, anti fashionista rant Fallowfield Hillbilly. The latter song has already been anointed as The Courteeners' signature tune and was recently used by Granada Soccer Night as backing music.

Courteeners are legends in waiting

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"Nearly everyone has a club night in Manchester now," bemoans Liam. "It's made out as if Manchester music is going through this really exciting time, but that's rubbish. It's all pretentious underground indie directed at gullible students."

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