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Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

  by Harry Sherriff

published: 10 / 4 / 2020

Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019


Harry Sherriff watches homecoming band the Courteneers play a storming, crowd-pleasing set at the Manchester Arena, but is equally impressed by support act Miles Kane.

When Miles Kane covered Donna Summer’s 'Hot Stuff' I didn’t know I needed to hear it and the same can be said for Miles’ great rendition of Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life. You can see why it’s such a great cover and a perfect fit for the man Alex Turner once called the greatest entertainer in the world. It’s confident, bordering on cocky and tinged with the right side of nostalgia. Along with the cover, Kane only plays of his own tracks, which feels a little bit light and there’s a few strange omissions. There’s no 'Coup de Grace' from the album of the same name, an album that I believe shows his career is going in the right direction and also no 'Blame It On The Summertime', his outrageously catchy last single. I believe the latter would have been a great singalong for the Manchester Arena but maybe more of a summer festival tune than on a rainy, cold evening in December. The set is essentially a mini-greatest hits with Miles playing fan favourites 'Inhaler', 'Rearrange', 'Come Closer' and set closer 'Don’t Forget Who You Are'. The once and maybe future Shadow Puppet isn’t here for himself though. He’s here in support of his long time friends the Courteeners and he does a great job of setting up the evening. Although Miles has been in the industry the best part of 15 years first starting off with Little Flames, then his own band the Rascals before going solo he hasn’t yet hit the heights of a headline show at an arena. He’s no stranger to playing to crowds this size with summer festivals and appearances alongside the aforementioned Turner but a solo arena tour is a level he hasn’t reached and I don’t know if he ever will or should. There’s something perfect that happens when Kane plays a venue like an O2 Academy in any city across the country. We all know he loves a repetitive singalong chorus but there’s also a raucous intimacy that is lost when the venue scales up. Not everyone is meant for an arena despite it being the ultimate goal for every young up and coming artist. In my review of 2018’s 'Coup de Grace' I touched upon how important a time this is for an artist like Miles Kane. A year on and that hasn’t changed. I don’t know how many new fans Miles would have picked up with his third solo album but the main thing is he’s working on his fourth and is hoping it’ll be released the end of 2020. You can’t knock the passion and the work ethic from the lad from the Wirral. With Miles turning 34 in March and the step up I believe 'Coup de Grace' was, I think we’ll see a more introspective, experimental fourth LP from Kane. The best is yet to come. By now the Courteeners are used to playing Manchester Arena. In a recent interview with 'Manchester Evening News' frontman Liam Fray said he couldn’t remember how many times the band had played the venue. It feels like the best way to see out 2019 and the atmosphere definitely feels like a coming home party. There are two nods to possibly the most famous Manchester band Oasis, the lads walk out to 'What’s The Story' and Liam does a cover of 'Live Forever'. The latter being especially poignant considering this was a song the front man used to play at open mic nights in the city before he formed a band. The band have already spoken about being in the studio on their sixth album titled ‘More. Again. Forever.’ To be released next year. By my reckoning, six albums in and selling out arenas makes you one of the most successful bands in the North of England. Especially considering many of the bands they came up with simply don’t last for various reasons. The band come across humble and still loving it as if they’re in their early years of being in a band and that’s a beautiful thing to witness. Photographs by Marie Hazelwood http://mariehazelwood.tumblr.com

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Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

Courteeners - (With Miles Kane), Manchester Arena, Manchester, 16/12/2019

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