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Baker's Dozen

Party Pieces: Andy Burnham's Favourite Albums
Fergal Kinney , March 2nd, 2022 09:21

The Mayor of Greater Manchester takes Fergal Kinney through 13 records that shaped him, via his days as a Hacienda regular and his children introducing him to Big Thief


Courteeners – Falcon

This was Jimmy. He was born in 2000 so was a teenager when the Courteeners were really at their peak. If you grew up in the North West then, I mean they still are, but the way I look at the Courteeners is they were for you. They galvanised everything. They seemed to capture Jimmy’s generation I was doing it as a dad, not as a young man, but when I listen to them I really relate to them. There’s such a North West thing there isn’t there? If you’re from the North West, you can’t help but respond to them when you hear them. They’re the best live band I’ve ever seen. I love their records, but what makes them stand apart to me is that they’re head and shoulders the best live band around. I remember seeing them just before, the last gig I went to before lockdown was them at the Albert Hall and it was just phenomenal. The whole thing is an event, going to watch them. Before it, everyone’s chanting. Now the reason this album is on, it’s a life moment. There’s a song on there called ‘Take Over The World. Early on in my failed Labour leadership campaign in 2015, I went to see them with my great mate Steve Rotherham, now mayor of Liverpool City Region but then my campaign manager. We went to see them at Heaton Park, we were in the early days of this campaign where I thought we might win and we were arm in arm belting out ‘Take Over the World’ together. The Sunday after it, I was on the Marr show and I tweeted “I’m only a paper boy from the North West / but I can scrub up well in my Sunday best.” It was the anthem of that campaign. I was a paper boy, and I am from the North West. Sadly, I didn’t go on to take over the world.