Gig / Concert: The Courteeners supported by Goldhawks and The Whip
Venue: Brixton Academy, London
Date: 18 March 2010
Headiner: The Courteeners
In One Word: Enrapturing
‘Tonight, I’m a rock ‘n’ roll star’, belted Oasis over Brixton Academy’s PA system as The Courteeners prepared to go onstage from what had already been a very good evening.
First on the bill were new London band Goldhawks, whose name originates from the area where they live, the Goldhawk Road in West London, who could be compared to U2 crossed with Snow Patrol, but this isn’t as bad as it might sound! They have a sound that is catchy and that is, dare I say it, commercial enough for Radio 1 but then indie enough for XFM.
Opening song “1996” sets a frenetic pace for the rest of the set that is stuffed full of songs, that at times feel that they are bowing the walls of the Academy and upcoming single “Where in the World” is received well as are “Higher Ground” and “Keep This Fire”. Goldhawks showed great enthusiasm and dedication for what they were doing despite the venue being barely full. Goldhawks will be performing on the New to Q tour during May and at Bestival in September – they’re a band to keep a close eye on.
Moving on to tonight’s headliner, I can’t say I can have much more respect for a band whose warm up tracks are Kasabian’s “Fire”, The Cribs’ “Hey Scenesters”, The Smiths’ “Panic” and Ian Brown’s “Dolphins Were Monkeys” and if it were not considered unprofessional I would’ve been dancing all through the warm-up, but rather than that, I feel quite sympathetic for the two photographers standing beside me while I was singing both badly and loudly to the said songs – sorry for that.
The gig starts with a mini-riot during “Cavorting”, as people were throwing themselves over the barrier like moths to a flame, which is quickly followed by fan-favourite “Acrylic” from the band’s debut album St. Jude.
Charismatic frontman Liam Fray could be named natural successor for Liam Gallagher and has the crowd enraptured throughout the gig, playing a mixture of songs from St. Jude and follow-up album Falcon. My initial thoughts about Falcon were that it lacked the Mancunian wit that featured throughout St. Jude and it has a much more polished and slower tempo, however, the songs came alive and it felt that in some ways that the live version of the songs were no doubt better than the recorded version.
Performances like this will make “Cross My Heart & Hope to Fly”, “Will It Be This Way Forever”, “Take Over The World” become instant classics and will be ringing around festival arenas this summer alongside “Kings of The New Road”, “Please Don’t” and “Not Nineteen Forever”.
Liam then took to the stage and performed fantastic acoustic versions of “The Rest of The World Has Gone Home” and “No You Didn’t, No You Don’t”
This is a band who are heading for great things, and have already proved that they can sell out a 10,000 capacity arena.
For me a sign of a great gig is when fans leave the venue singing, and following the traditions of Kasabian’s “LSF” and Babyshambles’ “I Wish”, the streets of Brixton were filled with “What Took You So Long?” all the way to the Tube station.
© Lauren Towner, Music Vice
The Courteeners played :
Will It Be This Way Forever
Good Times Are Calling
Kings of The New Road
Bide Your Time
Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly
Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips
Take Over The World
The Rest Of The World Has Gone Home
No You Didn’t, No You Don’t
You Over Did It Doll
Not Nineteen Forever
What Took You So Long?
Photos of Goldhawks and The Courteeners