In the age of online ticket touts and websites which encourage a monstrous mark-up on gig tickets, the humble tribute band is flourishing.
Sadly, with all the will in the world it was almost impossible to grab a golden ticket for The Courteener’s one-off Manchester date at the arena earlier this month. With this in mind, stumbling across an advert for “The Courtbetweeners” seemed to be a very happy twist of fate.
The Courteeners have a unique sound and I felt dubious at first that anyone could recreate it. So I turned up to the Old Courts on Saturday night out of curiosity and was blown away by the experience.
The tribute band, which only started in June 2017, opened with a St Jude throwback launching into Aftershow and getting the crowd instantly up on their feet. To say that they are a tight band would be underselling them.
The Courtbetweeners tackled some of the most iconic songs, including a rendition of one of my all-time favourite tunes Take over the world.
Usually the thought of someone covering that song would make me cringe but front man Charlie Campbell truly encapsulated Liam Fray’s spine-tingling vocals and they recreated the band’s most beautiful song.
Even technically more difficult classics like The Opener with its distinctive riff were carried out with impeccable skill and finesse.
Song after song they nailed the rhythm, the vocals and even the minute details that most Courteeners fans go mad for.
An example of this was the addition of a verse from James’ hit Tomorrow sandwiched at the end of What Took You So Long, a detail most fans would really appreciate.
With a great mix of hits, this tribute band are an absolute must for the Courteeners fan.