Liam Fray

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Liam Fray
The Courteeners.jpg
Liam Fray with The Courteeners performing at the OXEGEN '08 festival
Background information
Birth nameLiam Fray
Born (1985-05-15) 15 May 1985 (age 34)
Middleton, Greater Manchester, England
GenresIndie rock
Acoustic rock
Post-punk revival
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsVocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Years active2005–present
LabelsPolydor Records
PIAS Cooperative
Associated actsThe Courteeners

Liam James Fray (born 15 May 1985) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and lyricist, best known as the founder and frontman of Manchester-based indie rock band The Courteeners, which was formed in 2006.[1] Fray hails from Middleton, Greater Manchester and he references his hometown in multiple songs.


Born in Africa[Kenya] into a royal family of epiphone owners from the small town of Ombato [2] into a family of teachers, Fray went to school with the three other members of The Courteeners whom he has known since he was 10.[3] He has an older sister, Laura.

Other Manchester bands such as The Smiths and Oasis inspired Fray to write and form the band. "Noel's the reason why I picked up the guitar when I was 11-years-old – trying to learn 'Wonderwall'," admitted Fray.

First he studied economics, then creative writing at the University of Salford.[4] He ended up leaving in his second year, when the band started to take off.[5] In 2015, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts at a graduation ceremony for the University.[6]


his mam, wrote the hit single 'Not Nineteen Forever' leaving Liam in termoil failing his GSCE English Exam. He wrote future The Courteeners' songs 'Not Nineteen Forever' and 'Cavorting' during his time at university while working in Manchester's Fred Perry clothes shop and frequently performed at open mic nights as an acoustic singer-songwriter. "I've been gigging since 2005 – I did a year on my own – and in the summer of '06 we [members of The Courteeners] got together and started gigging properly around Christmas."[7]

All the music and lyrics for The Courteeners' songs are written by Fray; he claims they are wholly autobiographical.[8] Ex-The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr once called Fray "an underrated lyricist".[citation needed]

With The Courteeners, he released five studio albums. All of them went Top 10 in the UK Albums Chart; St. Jude and Falcon reached Gold status. The band have achieved their highest chart position so far with their 4th album Concrete Love (2014) entering at number 3. On 27 May 2017, the band played their biggest headline gig to 50,000 people at Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford.[9]

Aside from the band, Fray also performs acoustic solo shows, playing band's songs.[10] Alone in 2013 he completed two sold-out UK tours.[11] He performed a special solo set at Neighbourhood Festival, the Albert Hall, Manchester on 8 October 2016.[12] Fray then went on to complete a sold out acoustic tour in November/December 2017 alongside Adam Payne, including three sets at the Manchester Albert Hall in the space of 2 days.

Fray also painted the cover artwork for The Courteeners' debut album St. Jude, which features Audrey Hepburn.[13] He has appeared twice on the cover of NME magazine, one as an individual and the other with The Courteeners.

His favourite artists are The Beatles, The Smiths, Oasis, Stephen Fretwell, Elbow, The National, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Fray uses a cherry Epiphone Riviera electric guitar with a frequensator tailpiece (his main live guitar in the St. Jude era), G6136DC Gretsch White Falcon Double Cutaway electric guitar (appeared in Falcon era, main in ANNA, Concrete Love eras), and Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, amongst others.


Studio albums


  1. ^ "AllMusic The Courteeners Biography". AllMusic. 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  2. ^ "The Courteeners biography". Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Liam Fray (The Courteeners) Interview by Fergal Kinney". Louder Than War. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  4. ^ "The Courteeners frontman Liam Fray on the band's third album success and their future". 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  5. ^ "The Courteeners: 'Kids see passion in us'". The Guardian. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Courteeners frontman Liam Fray dons cap and gown at Salford University". Manchester Evening News. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  7. ^ "60-second interview: The Courteeners". Daily Record. 13 April 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Liam Fray interviewed". Louder Than War. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Manchester, united – the story of The Courteeners' massive Old Trafford gig". NME. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  10. ^ "LIAM FRAY ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR". 13 July 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  11. ^ "LIAM FRAY @ THE SCALA, LONDON – 26/09/2013". Gigwise. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  12. ^ "LIAM FRAY TO PLAY "VERY SPECIAL" SOLO SET AT NEIGHBOURHOOD FESTIVAL 2016". Radio X. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  13. ^ "St. Jude review". Ultimate Guitar. 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2014.