The Kooks at Electric Ballroom
Like many other indie-rock bands surfacing on the music scene in the mid-2000s, The Kooks broke into the mainstream with a rumble: their catchy riffs and choruses, their simple but direct lyrics and their cool attitude, epitomised by frontman Luke Pritchard, were the perfect magnet for a wide audience of mainly screaming teenage fans. Eight years after their debut, not much has changed.
The band enter Electric Ballroom’s stage amid palpable anticipation and in no time at all the inevitable female shrieks erupt. Pritchard may not be the next pop idol, but he knows how to heat up the crowd below him.
The Kooks cut out all introductions and open with their latest single Down. The mood is already genuinely positive but it’s only the beginning: next on the setlist is Ooh La. Spirits get higher and explode in the first bang of the night with Always Where I Need To Be, and with very few exceptions, everyone is singing, dancing and waving hands in the air.
Truth be told, however, not all the songs played garner the same reaction throughout the gig. Of course it’s the big hits that really get people going crazy. The level of energy released by the band is nonetheless indisputable: there’s no reservation, partly because Pritchard is a bit of a time bomb – climbing up and down the framework of the stage to excite the fans further – and partly because, well, they are good at what they do. There are several dead moments between one track and another; the lead singer needs to fuel up before he actually interacts with the audience and spurs them to return his naturally flowing oomph. Fans don’t disappoint though, paying the band back with more and more enthusiasm.
An acoustic version of Seaside, which Pritchard claims not to have performed in a long time, touches every heart; it’s the song that sees smartphones held up high to record and store the precious moment. A dilated Do You Wanna is kick-ass, showing The Kooks’ ability to vary styles, create suspense and keep everybody in the palms of their hands. Naïve is the obvious but ideal choice as the closing track. As long as captivating choruses are in fashion, The Kooks won’t ever be outdated or left out.
Photos: Adam Bennett
For further information and future events visit The Kooks’ website here.
Watch the video for Down here: