What a start to 2023 it has been for Courteeners - and the Manchester band were clearly in the mood to celebrate after making UK chart history at the weekend. The Middleton-formed rockers headed out in their home city to toast the huge news that they have scored their first ever number one album on Friday.
And when you have your own bar, it becomes the natural place to head for celebrations. Frontman Liam Fray is co-owner of The Smithfield Social in the trendy Northern Quarter - and was pictured with bandmates Daniel 'Conan' Moores and Michael Campbell there after sinking pints at an iconic Manchester pub.
They are celebrating after topping the charts with St Jude - their debut album which was first released in 2008. It has broken a previously-held record for the longest time EVER in hitting the number one spot - 14 years and 9 months later - after the 15th anniversary re-release this month.
After the news was announced on Friday, frontman Liam was pictured with the Official Charts' golden "Number One" gong. He said at the time: "Good things come to thems that wait. God bless the fans."
Liam then swiftly took the award out for the night with bandmates Daniel and Michael to really celebrate the news. The trio posted pictures with their "Number One" award at one of Manchester's most historic and iconic boozers in the form of Mr Thomas's Chop House on Cross Street.
Daniel posted on his Instagram page with the photo inside the Victorian pub. He said: "It's a surreal feeling, being top of the charts. But here we are.
"Thank you for supporting us and thank you for the love."
Liam added on his Instagram post inside the pub: "Love to everyone involved. This record changed our lives".
The band were then later pictured outside The Smithfield Social, the restaurant and bar Liam launched in the Northern Quarter back in 2021 alongside hospitality pals Jobe Ferguson and Anthony Fielden.
Michael is pictured holding the Number 1 aloft outside the venue on Thomas Street and the caption said: "Social celebrations for St Jude. No 1 thanks for the support."
Famous fans and friends were among those cheering the news - including TV presenter Vernon Kay, pop star Louise Redknapp and Happy Mondays legend Rowetta.
The band now sit in hallowed company in chart history - as only the third to ever have a re-issued album chart at Number One. They join The Rolling Stones (with Goats Head Soup and Exile On Main St) and The Beatles (with Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) as the only groups to have achieved the feat so it's a pretty exclusive club.
St. Jude includes three Official Top 40 singles (Not Nineteen Forever, No You Didn’t, No You Don’t and What Took You So Long?). It previously peaked at Number 4 upon its initial 2008 release.
The 15th anniversary year for St. Jude will continue in earnest for the band in the months ahead. They will take over Manchester's Heaton Park for a huge homecoming gig in June this year to mark 15 years since the release, in what will be the third time that the lads have held court at Greater Manchester's biggest park for a landmark moment in their career.
The Heaton Park gig, on Friday 9th June 2023, will mark the original release of their seminal album which has become a modern indie classic. Since then they have gone on to release five studio albums and have played sold out gigs across the UK.
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