Liverpool four-piece Courting have shared ‘Grand National’ ahead of the release of their debut EP of the same name – out on 9 April to coincide with the event itself. With the vital – and horrific – message that sums up the state of this sport (‘I don’t care if he dies, it’s entertainment’), the song finds the band giving voice to a generation who recognise the cruelty of the ‘sport’ and the gambling industry that props it up. Regarding the themes, frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill said: ”Grand National’ is our best and last look at Middle England. Parents evenings, horse racing, and watching the chemtrails from lawns lined with astroturf. Cowbell-tinged. 100gecs referencing. Feedbacking. Huge.’
With XTC-style art rock hooks to open the song, there’s an undeniable passion in Sean’s delivery as he talks about losing money and declares ‘I’m not here to make friends’ and repeats the statement ‘This is not my hill to die on’ – unlike so many of the horses and those struggling with gambling addictions. There are rhythmic breakdowns and a huge crash of drums towards the end before things settle down in the last 40 seconds.