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  • Ben Taylor

LIVE REVIEW: Courting @ YES, Manchester

In a sea of moustached men wearing woolly jumpers freshly acquired off Vinted, but not quite the appropriate attire for a mosh pit, Liverpool’s undefined musical group captivate a sell-out crowd at Manchester's YES.

At the centre of it all is their spiritual king, Sean Murphy-O'Neill, an unassuming kind fellow who, when the guitar kicks in, morphs into a ‘fuck-you’ sunglasses-wearing frontman.

Photo Credit: Charlie Barclay Harris

Fresh off the release of their sophomore album, the energetic lads fiercely defy criticism by just having a laugh, as they have always seemed to do. The tour show leapt into the usual chaos as the band shocked the audience by changing, in the middle of early track ‘Crass’, to f.u.n’s ‘We Are Young’, then back to ‘Crass’ just as the crowd were on board.

the course of the show you find yourself questioning whether they are the gritty Post Punk band you thought they were, often scrambling to keep up with their ever-changing performance and constantly feeling like you should grow a moustache.

Their second album ‘New Last Name’ came with the backing of production from Wakefield’s finest export since Gail Platt, the Jarman brothers of The Cribs. It’s plain to see their input too, songs like ‘Throw’ and ‘Happy Endings’ strongly display Cribs-esque basslines seen on earlier songs such as ‘Be Safe’ and ‘Things You Should Be Knowing’.

Accusations of 1975 similarities have plagued the Healy-hating group and songs like ‘We Look Good Together (Big Words)’ and ‘Jumper’ have such similarities to 1975 tracks like ‘Happiness’ or ‘Me & You Together Song’, it’s uncanny. Yet, they feel overtly self-aware and every nod to their contemporaries is laced with a tongue-in-cheek and Gen-Z lyrical nuances.

The reality is, we all want to be in Courting. Every time they take to the stage it’s impossible to know what to expect and the same goes for when they release music, it’s just really fascinating. A wholesome moment that was beautiful to see was an innocent glance between frontman and bassist as his crowd sang his words back to him. A mere nod was returned by the moustached bassist - wonderfully way to end the night!


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