Gig Review | Courteeners @ Edinburgh and Glasgow

Courteeners Scottish show poster

Electric atmosphere, happiness and acceptance.

After a long awaited Scottish return, Manchester group Courteeners play two electric sold out dates. In the O2 Academies in Edinburgh then Glasgow the day after, the Scottish crowds are provided with arguably some of the best performers in modern music. The indie-rockers give Scotland a treat with two anthem filled setlists that kept everyone dancing all night long. Accompanied by a different female Scottish artist each night, these were unforgettable shows.

Brooke Combe – Edinburgh

Taking to the Edinburgh O2 Academy Stage on an incredibly hot Sunday evening, Brooke Combe addresses her hometown with great enthusiasm. I’ve seen Combe 3 times now, and with each performance, I have been repeatedly in awe at her talents, and how easy she makes singing live look. Her soothing but equally soulful voice is a treat to listen to.

Combe played a setlist of incredible tunes, including tracks from April 2023 album “Black Is The New Gold“. This consisted of the album’s title track, “Impress You“, “A-Game“, and “Miss Me Now“. She also played one of my personal favourite songs “Are You With Me?“. Brooke Combe’s striking stage presence throughout these tunes made for enticing viewing. She was dancing to the instrumental portions of her tracks with each respective musician playing alongside her. She’s definitely someone I think everyone should see live at least once.

Rianne Downey – Glasgow

The support slot on the equally warm Monday evening was filled by Glasgow’s own Rianne Downey. Downey is an artist who has become known for intertwining country music with pop, creating an ever-growing discography of catchy and enticing tunes. Included in her setlist of such tunes were those from her brand new EP “Method To My Madness” as well as tracks from previous EP “Hard“. With both EPs being 2023 releases, it is amazing to see how quickly Downey has adapted these into a live setting.

Her setlist consisted of songs like 2023 single “Dancing In The Rain“. She also played “Home“, a song with such a simple melody that makes it amazingly addictive. This is proven by how quickly it has become Downey’s most streamed track.

Rianne Downey is an artist that was born to play live gigs. Her charming personality and effortlessly intriguing and powerful voice make her a Scottish talent to watch. However, from where I was standing, it seemed that some of the audience around me didn’t appreciate the immense talent that was in front of them. There were some of the crowd who didn’t seem to want to follow any sort of concert etiquette and were overly loud. Despite this, Downey is still an artist that I’d love to see perform again, but perhaps in a setting where the audience will respect her talents.

She is on a UK tour of her own later this year which you can find tickets for here:


Oasis’ ‘Morning Glory‘ began to play, the iconic helicopter sound making its way around the venue and cheers coming from all around. However, rather than Courteeners walking on stage during the track, like they normally would, the song faded out. Instead, a piper walked on, taking centre stage. He began to play ‘Flower of Scotland‘ and I’ve never been part of a more passionate crowd. Everyone was simply singing along with the anthem, embracing one another in a momentary state of Scottish serenity. This was the calm before the storm. As soon as the piper left, and the Manchester band took to the stage, it was madness. But this madness, in both shows, was just the typical Scottish crowd showing admiration for the performers on stage.

The band walked on and took to their respective spaces across the stage. Elina Lin was on keys followed by Daniel Moores, Joseph Cross, Michael Campbell, and of course, frontman Liam Fray. Their setlist from the first note was anthem after anthem. I’ve seen Courteeners a few times now and every time, I am blown away by their enthusiasm and attitude to performing. I am also amazed every time at how much energy the crowd has, forming mosh pits continuously, constantly jumping around. These shows were not only warm ups for their huge Heaton Park gig, they were also a celebration of their album St Jude, released 15 years ago. This album formed the foundation for their striking setlist.

Every time a song began, cheers from around each venue were always loud. They started off with tracks like “Cavorting“. They then played tracks including “No You Didn’t, No You Don’t” and one of my personal favourites, “Please Don’t“. An acoustic portion consisted of songs like “Yesterday, Today, & Probably Tomorrow” and fan-favourite “Smith’s Disco“. Other songs included “Summer“, “Modern Love“, “Bide Your Time“, and another personal favourite, “The 17th“. The encore consisted of another couple of bangers but more noticeably, their most famous song, “Not Nineteen Forever“.

Liam Fray’s stage presence was impeccable both nights, he’s a performer I will always look forward to seeing again. It was an electric atmosphere both night from both the band and the audience. There was just happiness, acceptance and simply two of the best gigs I have ever attended. People of all ages attended these shows and it just goes to show just how universal Courteener’s music truly is.