Liam Fray: ‘I’m not going solo’

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Courteeners frontman Liam Fray wants to clear something up.

‘I’m not going solo. I’m not leaving the band. I just said “look lads, you guys can have a week off. I’m going to do a few solo acoustic shows”,’ says the Manchester singer.

Liam Fray comes to the Wedge on his solo acoustic tour.

Liam Fray comes to the Wedge on his solo acoustic tour.

He’s talking about a new solo tour he started last night following Courteeners Mallorca Rocks closing party gig on Monday.

Earlier this year, his band released their third Top 10 album, Anna, with a headline UK tour. And Liam followed these dates with a series of sold out acoustic shows.

‘The last 18 months has been non-stop slog, but it’s been therapeutic, I suppose,’ he says.

There were two years between Courteeners’s second album, Falcon, and the new record, and Liam says it was worth the band taking their time.

‘We didn’t necessarily take time out, we just took our time with it and we’re really reaping the benefits now as a band.

‘We’re ready to kick on to the next phase,’ he says.

‘We’ve got a big tour in December. Then, in January, it’s writing time again. We should have new material out next year,’ he reveals.

In the meantime, Liam will be enjoying his solo shows.

‘It’s how I started out and it’s totally different to playing with the band.

‘It’s a different kind of buzz. It’s a bit more fun, in a way.

‘You’re so regimented with a band. Because there are five of you, you can’t just throw in a riff from somewhere else or change a lyric because it might put the others off. Playing solo is a bit freer.

‘But it’s a lonely dressing room,’ adds Liam, who says he’s doing the tour for the fun of it.

‘It’s just a bit of fun. I’m just buzzing that people want to come and watch,’ he beams.

Liam says he might play a couple of new songs on the tour and reckons it won’t be long before there’s something new from the band in the public domain.

‘You might hear a new song very soon. We’ve written and recorded it. It’s really exciting, really different for us, but you can still tell it’s us, if you know what I mean.’

The tour runs until September 29, including a date at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea on Wednesday and finishing with a show at The Ritz in Liam’s hometown of Manchester.

Support on all dates comes from Manchester solo artist Bipolar Sunshine.

Southsea tickets: £15 from (023) 9286 3911 or or on the door from 8pm.