Auditorio CCOP, Porto

21:30, 07.04.24

Courting are back for two shows in Portugal to present their sophomore album "New Last Name" - out January 26, 2024.

Having already laid-waste to any preconceptions you had about them on last year’s debut album “Guitar Music” – which saw the band earn 5-star reviews, a 7.2 from Pitchfork, and extensive plaudits from the likes of The Needle Drop, DIY, Dork, NME, Alt Press, CLASH, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, and Radio X – the new record once again subverts the idea of genre and paints a much bigger picture.

When recording “New Last Name” Courting also collaborated in the studio with indie heroes Gary and Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, who worked closely with the band on production duties. The results are as thrilling as they are rewarding. Brimming with nuance and pop culture references, the only constant is that the Liverpool group maintain their irrepressible sense of abandon. Whilst “Flex” provided a first taste of the band’s continued ambition, “Throw” sets the tone for the record. “New Last Name” is an album as adventurous thematically as it is sonically - but as it’s title suggests, it hints at new beginnings. “It’s a theatrical play within an album,” explains frontman Sean Murphy O’Neill. “. “There’s a lot going on. It can be simply enjoyed as an album, but there are characters, acts, stage directions etc. The listeners can decide on the narrative themselves, but we want them to get lost in it.” “Throw” is the first act in this play and serves as a tone setter for the record and also a prelude to a narrative flashback. At its base level, the track is fervent pop-rock earworm melding upbeat drumming, vocoder-effected vocal hooks, and ebullient riffing. However, as the track moves towards it’s close, the band flip it on its head with pop-punk indebted instrumentation and gang vocals - a clear example of the band indulging in guilty pleasures. Going on to speak about the single, Murphy O’Neill says, “We wanted to write a song with a plot twist, a song that could be described as “an epic.” Lamenting a past love, our protagonist returns to “the city”, and remembers, misremembers, and forgets just about everything that has happened beforehand. Drawing a blank, they pray to be wished away to a simpler time.”