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Live Review: The Courteeners at Glastonbury

Live Review: The Courteeners at Glastonbury
Courteeners take to the stage with the opening “has the other Liam finished yet.” Both Liams are cut from the same cloth in a festival that’s always been wonderful diverse and getting more so. The challenge for the Courteeners, then, is to eclipse Liam Gallagher and be the best ‘Manchester act in coats playing guitars’ part of the show they can be. A tricky challenge considering half the audience at this stage are waiting for the spiritually different Chemical Brothers and their consciousness expanding fare. Also tricky, because as a band the Courteeners have always seemed to occupy a space left vacant by anyone better.
A few songs in, the stage seems too big for them. They’re playing proficiently, but their songs just aren’t translating to a large field. It’s partly that the songs aren’t good enough, partly because the band seemed overawed. Even when they say they’ve now warmed up things only slightly improve. They’ve played Glastonbury seven times, but you would never know.
It takes time, bit by bit, minute by minute, for the band to show life, for things to stop being boring and beige and for some life to arrive. When it does, when they cast off the dull and fire up something actually engaging, you get a glimpse of what they could be with some work, the confidence to come out on a Glastonbury stage and a stronger set list.
By the end, I think we were looking at 40% of the set worth it. Definite potential to grow and build a bigger catalogue, but odd that they’re famous enough to get this gig in the first place and that things aren’t better after so many Glasto sets. Many great bands would kill to play here once.  Liam ends by making a joke that rock isn’t dead. It’s wobbling mate.

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