Gig review: Liam Fray at O2 Academy Leeds

Liam Fray at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
Liam Fray at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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Good things come to those who wait and they certainly did for a raucous crowd at a sold-out 02 Academy in Leeds.

Liam Fray performed a brilliant acoustic gig as part of his solo tour which left his adoring fans longing for more.

Liam Fray at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

Liam Fray at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

The Courteeners frontman is a fantastically talented showman and songwriter but the packed auditorium were left waiting until just after 9.30pm for him to emerge.

Patience was beginning to wear thin with some of his more rowdy followers.

Still, it was all in a good cause.

Once on stage, Fray served up a number of Courteeners classics which were rapturously received by the Leeds crowd.

Kicking off with How Come, this prompts a mass singalong and sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the night.

“A Thursday night out in Leeds, eh?” says Fray.

Cue the usual chants of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’.

The atmosphere was electric as Fray moved through an impressive set-list which included classic such as Acrylic, Please Don’t, Are You in Love With a Notion.

The entire 20-track set spaned Courteeners tracks from across all five of their Top 10 albums and lasted over an hour and a half.

Fray let his music do the talking but still interacted with the crowd and his stage presence is undeniable.

Returning for an encore of The Rest of the World Has Gone Home and Smiths Disco, Liam then treated the audience to a cover of Pulp’s Disco 2000 before going into arguably the band’s biggest track Not Nineteen Forever.

This, predictably – emphatically – went down a storm.

Fray, for all his talent, is certainly no egomanic either.

At the end of the performance, he took the time to mingle with fans, sign autographs and pose for photographs.

All in all, an excellent night.

Gary Numan is touring with his new album and will be appearing in Hull and Sheffield.

Interview (with audio) – Gary Numan: ‘When Savage got to No 2 I properly cried like a baby’