By Richard Derbyshire

INDIE superstars Courteeners returned to Southampton for one of the city’s biggest gigs of the year.

The Manchester band rocked The Guildhall and showed why they headlined some of last summer’s biggest festivals and why they will play to 50,000 at home in Heaton Park in 2019.

Their visits here every two years are becoming a tradition and, after seeing the crowd’s reaction tonight, it is no wonder singer-guitarist Liam Fray, drummer Michael Campbell, guitarist Daniel Moores, bassist Joe Cross and keyboardist Adam Payne, keep coming back.

Plastic beer glasses were thrown high as early songs Are You In Love With a Notion?, Cavorting and Acrylic ignited the evening.

When fans were not singing along with the music, they were chanting the front man’s first name.

There has been no new record since 2016’s Mapping The Rendezvous, but Liam tried out two new numbers called Better Man and Has He Told You That He Loves You Yet? 10 years after releasing their debut record, he said it was still nerve-racking performing new songs.

The songwriter’s acoustic interlude included a huge sing-along to Please Don’t and a cracking new tune called Hanging Off Your Cloud.

Then it was back to a full band and full production with favourites like Lose Control and The 17th taking things to a new level. Not bad for a Monday evening in Southampton.

Heavy Jacket, Modern Love, You’re Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long? were part of an almost overwhelming encore by one of Britain’s most enduring bands.

Earlier in the evening, hotly tipped singer Zuzu drew a big early crowd, played her new single Can’t Be Alone and revealed some past links to Southampton. The Liverpool artist will support Courteeners in her home city at The Echo Arena on Friday.

It was also a big night for Hampshire 11 year-old and big Courteeners fan Henry Gillam after Liam picked him out of the crowd and brought him up on stage at the end of the show to give him his set list.

Courteeners’ set list at Southampton Guildhall:

Are You in Love With a Notion?



No One Will Ever Replace Us

Better Man


Van der Graaff

Has He Told You That He Loves You Yet?

Small Bones

Lose Control

The 17th

Liam Fray Acoustic:

Please Don’t

Hanging Off Your Cloud

Smiths Disco

Heavy Jacket

Modern Love

You’re Not Nineteen Forever

What Took You So Long?