I was slightly nervous on entering the O2 to see The Kooks, because I have so many fond memories of listening to them over the past ten years, and I didn’t want them to disappoint. But Ooh La, what a show it was.
The atmosphere was electric as the curtain was raised; the support acts, Fickle Friends and Clean Cut Kid had both warmed the audience up well. Luke Pritchard, the lead singer with his boyish mop of hair that hasn’t changed in their 10 year career as a band, came swaggering on to the stage followed by the rest of the band, and over the screams from adolescent girls, and the howl of an electric guitar, The Kooks opened with their iconic ‘Eddie’s Gun,’ from their first album Inside In Inside Out.
“Luke appeared to have had multiple energy drinks before coming on stage”
It was amazing that despite being ten years old when Inside In, Inside Out was released in 2006, people still knew all the lyrics not only to ‘Eddie’s Gun,’ but practically any song The Kooks played from the album. ‘Eddie’s Gun,’ was followed by ‘Always Where I Need To Be,’ and ‘See the World.’ These high-tempo opening three songs really set the tone. Luke appeared to have had multiple energy drinks before coming on stage, which got the crowd worked up in to a frenzy. He shook the mic stand like a rag doll occasionally throwing it over the shoulder for good measure. At only the third song, a mosh pit had already formed.
During the middle of the performance, Luke sang a song on his own, the beloved ‘Seaside,’ which showed off his talent as a vocalist and lead man. Following some slow songs, the band played a few songs from their third album Listen, including the banger, ‘Bad Habit,’ and then some hits from their second album such as my personal favorite ‘Junk of the Heart.’
“At only the third song, a mosh pit had already formed”
It was really heart-warming to see how well the crowd reacted to any song the band played showing just how catchy and successful The Kooks have been at popular music. It is also testament to the longevity of the band, which faced criticism after the third album, and they could have easily thrown in the towel there.
Sadly, all too soon, the performance ended and we hadn’t yet heard the old faithful, heart wrenching track that everyone knows. So they simply had to do it in the encore. Yes, you guessed it: ‘Naïve’ finally ended the show. As the first chord was played, the roar of the crowd suggested the band had chosen their final song well.
I left the O2 with no voice, with beer all over me and completely assured that The Kooks have still got it.
Get your hands on their upcoming compilation album when it comes out this Summer!