Getintothis’ Lewis Ridley spoke to Andy from Star and Garter ahead of their sell-out night celebrating all things Courteeners.
“This night happened by accident really“, said Andy. “We had a free Saturday in September and somebody suggested we do one seeing as the band had been customers for so long and Liam (Fray) had his 30th birthday here as well as, obviously, the many times he had done open mic. stuff before the band got off the ground.”
The event has been sold out since the end of last month, but it was no surprise to Star and Garter that it was so popular, “I fully expected it to sell out, primarily because the place has been mentioned in a couple of songs and frequently on stage by Liam at gigs. That’s the oddest thing about it all really – the band are the band and Liam is Liam from Middleton whose Mother worked at a school with the (late) sister of someone who used to work here.”
The connection between the venue and Courteeners goes way back, long before critics jumped to label Liam and the band as arrogant, long before they responded with sold-out arenas, five albums and 50,000 at Old Trafford earlier this year.
“He always said please and thank you and did the acoustic stuff and supported other people who got up and did a turn and the whole band never did any kind of “I am” thing – they were just some lads in a band on a night off.”
When asked how he expects the night to go, Andy said, “I expect it to go well. We have two DJs, Andy Woods, who has vast experience of “indie” nights and has spearheaded Smile here, Manchester’s longest running indie night, and Nat, who will cater for the full-on Courteeners followers and musical youth with her experience of radio and broadcast media.”
If it does live up to the expectation of both Andy and those with tickets in hand, similar events may be on the cards. “We’ll see how it goes and maybe do another if it works. Maybe not as frequent as the Smiths Disco, unless Morrissey does a B-side called Courteeners Disco based on a Courteeners song based on Stephen Fretwell song.”
Liam Fray‘s acoustic tour kicks off next month, with a date at Liverpool’s O2 Academy, perhaps Andy might have inside knowledge on what the setlist might hold. “I remember them singing a rousing rendition of the theme from classic BBC Saturday afternoon sports show, Grandstand, at the end of a night”, he said, “anyone under 25 didn’t have a clue what they were singing.”
Courteeners Disco will take at Star and Garter, Manchester, September 22.