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If you’re a fan of Embrace, Doves or Elbow, get on board with Courteeners. Tey’ve been together for 10 years, toured with Morrissey, been

celebrated by Manchester United and their debut album reached platinum status. Not bad. Teir

latest album Mapping the Rendezvous shows a burgeoning maturity and confidence for these

Manchester darlings. I spoke to lead singer Liam about garage rock, helping men to express their feelings and that time when he found out that Stephen Street wanted to produce them.

Even from the very start with songs like Kings of the New Road you sounded fully formed and together. Who were your early influences as a band and when you first began did you have a strong feeling of what sort of sound you wanted? I suppose at the time I was listening to Te Walkmen, Te Kills, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but they all have quite exciting singers whereas I wasn’t. So I had to get this energetic garage rock sound. I’m so pleased you picked that song because not only is it one of my favourite of our songs but it really encapsulated what I wanted us to sound like, dark, scuzzy and fuzzy rather than

the jingly jangly thing that we ended up doing more on the first album. So to answer your question yeah I did know the sound I wanted to achieve but I’m not sure we got it! What was it like when Stephen Street approached you and wanted to produce your music? I remember exactly where I was - I was getting on a train to go see the Arctic Monkeys and

my manager said Stephen Street wants to produce you, and I said fucking hell as if he has the same name as Stephen Street! Our manager said you idiot, it’s the same guy! I couldn’t believe it. To work with him was brilliant, he’s probably one of the best people I have met in music. he was exactly what we needed, he didn’t try to change us, he just eked out everything good about us, left all the rubbish bits to one side. It was so well thought out but not conceited or calculated. He left a lot of raw things in there which a lot of producers would have taken out as well. He’s got to go down as a legend really. Two years after you’d formed you were playing arenas supporting Stereophonics and playing at Coachella alongside Paul McCartney and Morrissey. How did you cope as a band with this rise to the heights? I’ll be honest with you, it was really really really easy! We supported Morrissey all across America and it was a fucking slog – freezing some times, boiling on others, we were miles away from home but we couldn’t get enough of it. Te other thing that bothered us was how much the British press built us up right at the beginning – we knew we weren’t changing the world, we were just writing half decent songs and connecting with people. Tere were so many indie guitar bands around but a lot of them weren’t very good so when we came along people noticed. Te whole ‘rise to the heights’ thing just passed us by really, maybe because we were right in the

middle of it. Your fifth album is out at the end of this month, Mapping Te Rendezvous. Are there any particular themes or subjects to this album? It’s no secret that we like a night out, but I’m 31 now and I’m the baby of the group. It’s about bad decisions, carefree abandon, regret..all the balances in life. I’s very indecisive and the band is too – we’re not sure where we stand or how people feel about us, but who cares. We just want to have a bit of fun with it. You write all the music and lyrics and cover everyman subjects, sometimes laddy and funny, but sometimes serious and heartbreaking, or angry and lost. Would you say you make sense of the world and your own emotions through your music? I think there’s probably lots of guys 15-25 who go through through all that and can’t really articulate it. I don’t want to say that I am that flag bearer but sometimes I do feel a bit like Guy Garvey for the younger generation who like their football. Just because they go to the football though doesn’t mean their emotions are any less important, and that’s a huge thing in this country. Boys who might have a tough time feel like they can’t say anything. Tey deal with it in the wrong way, so if I can help them to chat it out that’s great. You can feel it at our gigs, when we play a slow one you see them stop and listen and that’s a really nice feeling.


> INFORMATION Courteeners play the LCR on 15th November. Tickets available from Read this interview in full online at / November

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