Sunday 17 November 2019

Manchester still in shock over arena attack, says Courteeners’ Liam Fray

A bomb at the Manchester Arena on May 22 2017 killed 22 people.

Liam Fray, of the Courteeners (Jane Barlow/PA)
Liam Fray, of the Courteeners (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

The Courteeners’ frontman Liam Fray has said Manchester remains in shock almost 10 months after the arena bombing.

The musician, 32, who was born in Greater Manchester, still finds it difficult to discuss the terror attack which left 22 dead at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

Less than one week after the attack the indie-rock band paid tribute to the victims at a headline concert in the city and also performed at the We Are Manchester benefit gig at the reopened Arena in September.

Fray told the Press Association: “It was just such a strange time. We were gearing up for the biggest gig of our lives that week and then in an instant it was reduced to it’s not about us anymore.

“That gig wasn’t ours it belongs to the city now,” he added.

Fray said: “It felt like the city was in shock for a long time. It probably still is.”

“I don’t know if you ever get over it. I know it’s not the same but I’ve got friends in New York and they still talk about 9/11. I know that’s on a massive scale but when something affects the city like that, I guess it kind of stays with you forever. I don’t think it probably ever leaves you,” he added.

The band at the We Are Manchester benefit concert (Peter Byrne/PA)

The band are celebrating 10 years since their debut album St Jude with a headline slot at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a week of gigs raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Fray said he was “a little bit sceptical” about marking the anniversary but felt the cause was too good to turn down.

He revealed the band were working on their new album which they hoped to release this year but had a busy summer with a number of festival appearances including a headline slot at Truck Fest.

“We are working on the new record,” he said.

“There’s a few songs already in the can … it’s kind of embryonic stages at this moment. I would hope to have it done this year.”

The Courteeners headline the Royal Albert Hall on March 23 as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust week of gigs

PA Media

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