In 2007, The Courteeners were the next big thing. Their music may, on the face of it, have been the kind of straightforward indie rock that gets the NME and XFM so excited, and they may have been another Manchester band with a frontman called Liam, but there was no denying the appeal of tracks like 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'Acrylic'.
Formed by a quartet of lifelong friends from Greater Manchester, the band got together in 2006. Liam Fray had been at university discovering his creative side when he began writing and performing. He called his old pals and before you could say 'The Queen is Dead', Manchester had another excited gang of foulmouthed wannabe braggards insisting they were the next best thing.
Like Liam Gallager and Richard Ashcroft before him, Fray was quick to assert that The Courteeners were set to be the country's, perhaps the world's, biggest band. Morrissey certainly liked The Courteeners and it's rare that he admits to liking anything. Quite simply, he liked the songs. "Very strong" and "full of hooks" he said.
And he was right. Debut long player 'St Jude' performed well - briefly hitting top spot in the UK charts on release - and there was a steady stream of creative, catchy sing-alongs that followed. Tracks like 'What Took You So Long' and the stomping 'Not Nineteen Forever' earned the band numerous TV and ad campaign credits, including 'Shameless', 'Gavin & Stacey' and US hit '90210'.
Follow up 'Falcon' was released in 2009 and The Courteeners toured the record extensively in 2010, since when they've been working on a third album and playing selected dates and festivals. They've also made a habit of playing large hometown gigs at venues like Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex), the MEN Arena and also the nearby Delamere Forest (setting a sales record in the process).
And now it is the Apollo, Manchester's favourite drunken aunt, which will bear witness to the new anthems of a city with so many, with two dates announced for December.
The Courteeners play the Manchester Apollo on Thursday 8th, Friday 9th and (just added) Saturday 10th December 2011. We will have tickets available for both dates when they go on sale at 9AM on Friday 9th September, priced £22.50.
It is likely that both gigs will sell out very quickly.