Being regularly compared to musical heavyweights such as The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis would usually create expectations that most bands could never live up to. The Courteeners have always taken this in their stride, scrappy underdogs who have carved out a solid niche for themselves since forming in 2006. Their rise is all the more impressive due to a lack of support from mainstream radio and media.
The Manchester four-piece is made up of vocalist Liam Fray, lead guitarist Daniel Conan Moores, bassist Mark Cupello and drummer Michael Campbell. They are widely considered to have upheld the rich musical history of the city with some stellar albums and singles over the years – receiving praise from artists ranging from Morrissey to Bono.
Their raw, indie rock sound saw first album, St. Jude – complete with Fray’s stylish Audrey Hepburn artwork – peak at number four, with supporting singles like Not Nineteen Forever breaking into the top 20. Their second outing, 2010’s Falcon, saw them return to the top 10 and praised for a more mature sound.
The group’s third and fourth albums – Anna and Concrete Love - drew upon 80s synth pop to further broaden their sound into anthemic tunes geared towards filling larger venues. Fifth album Mapping the Rendezvous continued their success as ‘the UK’s biggest underground band’, once again finding a home in the top 10.