Good Cop Bad Cop
I’d not heard of these, but turning up on time meant that we were in for a treat. An interesting mix of rock with synth pop, which really worked. They mentioned during their set that they had been writing and recording with Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys (I learn later that GCBC are fronted by ex-Milburn Joe Carnall), and the crafted songs really work. The overall sound is very different from either Milburn or the Arctic Monkeys, with thick synths providing great accompaniment to the more standard rock guitar, bass drums.
Going to the merch desk at the end of the Courteeners I was told that they had sold out of the Good Cop Bad Cop records, this tells you all you need to know about how Carlisle took to this band. Not a group I’d heard of coming into the show, but one I will be keeping an ear out for, particularly when the album comes in March.
The Carlisle crowd were ready for this. The Courteeners did not disappoint. They were electric and full of energy from the start, and played a set full of hits from throughout their 13 year career, as well as some from the upcoming album.
The crowd were in the palm of lead singer Liam Fray’s hand from start to finish, and songs which on the records sometimes seem a little repetitive and formulaic were elevated to what they were obviously designed for in the first part: Bangers designed to whip up the crowd, slow them down, then whip them back up into a frenzy again. At some points it seemed almost half the audience were on the other half’s shoulders as the songs were being sung back to the band twice as loud as the band could play.
The first encore was a slow, acoustic affair with a new song, Hanging off Your Cloud, performed with just piano and acoustic guitar. This lo-fi theme continued until, again, off went the band.
More big songs were played in the second encore with the full band and the set finished with the biggest two; Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long, the refrain from which was being sung long into the wet Carlisle night as the sweaty and exhilarated crowd dispersed.