“Everything from day one was against us. I’m proud of what we’ve done.”

Q marked the 10th anniversary of the release of CourteenersSt Jude with a feature that took the band back to their original stomping grounds in Manchester. Turner Hall takes no responsibility for the state that the journalist got into after the interview.

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“A bit of mad scientist stuff.”

The overdue return of the mighty Gaz Coombes. New album this year. It’s staggeringly good, take our word.

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St Jude Re:Wired

Courteeners quest for world domination continues with the 10th anniversary version of their debut album. It’s been fully re-recorded and they’ve announced two massive shows in London and Manchester to support it. St Jude Re:Wired is due for release on 6th April 2018 via Ignition Records. It was produced by Liam and Joe Cross. The tracklisting is:

1. Aftershow (Re:Wired)
2. Cavorting (Re:Wired)
3. Bide Your Time (Re:Wired)
4. What Took You So Long? (Re:Wired)
5. Please Don’t (Re:Wired)
6. If It Wasn’t For Me (Re:Wired)
7. No You Didn’t, No You Don’t (Re:Wired)
8. How Come (Re:Wired)
9. Kings Of The New Road (Re:Wired)
10. Not Nineteen Forever (Re:Wired)
11. Fallowfield Hillbilly (Re:Wired)
12. Yesterday, Today & Probably Tomorrow (Re:Wired)

Liam Fray: “We were looking for a way to mark the 10 year anniversary of the release of St. Jude… we thought it might be worth at least raising a little glass to celebrate the fact that we’re still here. I’d been out on an acoustic tour this autumn, re-working and revisiting tunes from the back catalogue, stripping them back, bigging them up and experimenting with some different interpretations. The string section were incredible and unknowingly nudged me into unlocking something special. I loved revisiting all the old songs and putting a new twist on them. So, the day after the final date of the tour, I gingerly prised myself out of bed, booked a studio, rang the band, brought in some string-players and we ‘re-did’ St. Jude in a few days. And it sounds fucking brilliant.”

Originally released in April 2008, St. Jude charted at no 4 in its first week and went on to win the inaugural Guardian First British Album award, beating albums by Duffy, Adele and Glasvegas. The record saw Courteeners present to the world outside a first set of songs that perfectly soundtracked modern life in the UK. Lead track Not Nineteen Forever has amassed over 20 million streams on Spotify alone.

The band will play two very special St. Jude shows in 2018: a Teenage Cancer Trust show at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall (23rd March) and Manchester Arena (7th April). Tickets are on sale Friday 15th December at 9am.

Courteeners most recent album – Mapping The Rendezvous – was certified silver shortly after release; their most recent Manchester headline was to a sold out 50000 crowd at the Emirates Old Trafford. A headline show at the inaugural Neighbourhood Weekender in Warrington (26thMay) sold out the day it went on sale. The band also play Glasgow’s TRNSMT on Sat 30th June.

Paul Draper hits the road… this week and next year…

Paul Draper – former frontman of Mansun, one of the most iconic bands of the late ’90s – is about to hit the road for a UK tour. The gigs will be his first ever live solo shows – they all sold out months ago, prior to the release of his debut solo album Spooky Action. A new tour goes on sale this Friday. Expect gigs to sell out fast.

Reviews of Spooky Action:

Draper is an unceasingly self-lacerating lyricist unafraid to deal with his past‘ Q
Record Collector 5* / Uncut 8/10 / Mojo 4* / Louder than War 8/10
Full of howling at the gods emotional catharsis’ Prog

Gruff Rhys: The History of Nails

Gruff Rhys recently made a film about last year’s trip to Siberia for the British Council. The History of Nails explores the long gone possibility of a communist utopia on the far east side of Russia. It’s a truly fantastic piece of work. The film was recently premiered on Nowness.

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Liam Fray – UK Acoustic Tour, All Sold Out

Liam Fray
, the talismanic frontman and mouthpiece of Courteeners – one of the UK’s biggest homegrown success stories – is heading across the UK on a solo tour next month. The whole tour sold out in a day.

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the most successful British artist you’ve never heard of

Reviews for Steven Wilson‘s recently released album To The Bone (charted in the UK at No 3).

Resolutely independent… the most successful British artist you’ve never heard of” The Telegraph
A near perfect balance… flash & flamboyant with lovingly crafted big tunesMojo 4*
An inimitable rabbit-hole of psychedeliaPlanet Rock, 5*
Lush and ambitious… insistently melodicUncut
Wonderfully executed… pop brillianceQ 4*
A fervent and meticulous tribute to the very notion of the song itself… Steven Wilson is consciously rehabilitating an approach to pop music that, let’s face it, is long overdue a widespread revival. And, as with everything else, he does it better than mostProg (album of the month)
To The Bone features squalls of furious guitars and occasional shifting time signatures… it’s artful, sophisticated pop-rock, channelling the favourites of his youth: Talk Talk’s The Colour of Spring, Peter Gabriel’s So, and Tears For Fears’ Sowing The Seeds of LoveThe Guardian
His best and most complete solo album yetClassic Rock 4*

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Mass Communion

Year after year, album after album, Manchester’s Courteeners have confounded their critics by playing ever-more-massive Manchester venues. From Manchester Arena (2010) to Delamere Forest (2011), Castlefield Bowl (2013) and Heaton Park (2015), a homecoming gig for these boys is never a small – or polite – affair.

Courteeners played a sold out show to 50,000 fans at Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground last month just a few days after the atrocity at the Arena. Q, The Times and NME wrote about a truly incredible sold out show by the city’s unarguable hometown heroes.

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Spooky Action

Paul Draper has announced details of his first solo album. Ten and a few years in the making, Spooky Action is a pure trip – eleven tracks of razor-wire guitars and cascading melodies – the perfect return of one of the most iconic frontmen of the ’90s.

spooky action final

Surreal Carnival

Underworld‘s sold out Alexandra Palace gig (aka the Surreal Carnival Experiment) was gloriously documented over eight pages in Electronic Sound magazine recently. Next up from Smith and Hyde – Karl’s play at the MiF and the weeklong immersive free event Manchester Street Poem.

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