UK’s indie darlings, The Kooks kicked off the Australian leg of their world tour at a packed, sweat drenched Festival Hall on a sticky hot Thursday, January 3rd.
Kicking off their set with the punchy debut single ‘Eddies Gun’ from debut album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’. Lead singer, Luke Pritchard decked out in black jeans, black t-shirt with a loose fitting gold jacket. With his mop of curly locks, he strides onto the stage to the fading sound of The Beatles, ‘Helter Skelter’ with a haze of blue light illuminating the stage. As the crowd roar, he cups his ears to raise the noise levels.
Now officially a 3 piece, after the recent departure of bassist Peter Denton, Luke is joined by Hugh Harris on lead guitar and the tireless Alexis Nunez on drums with Peter Randell filling in for the departed, Denton. After 15 years and 5 critically acclaimed albums behind them, The Kooks still possess the energy of a band on their first tour with Pritchard darting around the stage, guitar in hand like an energetic teenager. His vocals are flawless, and could break your heart with its charming beauty.
‘Always Where I Need To Be,’ from the brilliant ‘Konk’ album is up next, followed by ‘She Moves Me In Her Own Way’ another track taken from ‘Inside In/Inside Out,’which has the whole crowd bouncing and by now completely covered in sweat. Pritchard mentions that although he’s drenched in sweat, it’s not as hot in the venue as drummer Nunez, who he claims is ‘ridiculously hot coz he’s constantly working out by beating the drums!’ Nunez embarrassed by the attention takes a bow from behind the sticks before launching into latest single, the funky early Stones sounding ‘All The Time’ from their latest album ‘Lets Go Sunshine’ which goes down really well with the crowd much to Pritchard’s appreciation!
They power through a few more tracks off the latest album, with Pritchard thanking the crowd for appearing to enjoy the new material, with the album only being a few months old. The noise levels go up a notch with the rocking ‘You Don’t Love Me’ which Pritchard explains is about unrequited love, something he claims he’s gotten used to over time, but judging by the adoring female fans in the audience, he obviously had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.:)
After asking the crowd if they have any requests, Pritchard plays the first few chords of ‘Seaside’ which gets the biggest cheer of the night as the crowd sing the song back to them, almost drowning out Pritchard’s vocals. Spine tingling stuff!!
The 2 hour set seemed to fly by at a blink of an eye and as the encore sees another track from ‘Lets Go Sunshine’ the honey dripped ‘No Pressure’ the album closer before ending the exhilarating set with the iconic ‘Naïve’, a song that in every sense sums up the Kooks as the crowd roar their approval and sing along to every word.
‘You don’t have to doubt or figure it out’ that The Kooks are one iconic band that will take you on a journey to satisfy the heart and soul!
Fantastic gig and a must see live!