The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live: The Kooks

The Kooks plan an explosion of old hits for their promising “The Best of…” tour, writes Irune Vega

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Thursday 20th April at Manchester Academy

9/10

The Kooks began their long sold out ‘The Best Of…’ tour in Manchester Academy eleven years after the release of their debut album. Feel old yet? The Brighton foursome mainly performed their oldest tunes in front of a melancholic crowd that seemed eager to sing along to the band’s most sentimental lyrics.

They made their entrance behind a gigantic white hanging cloth while the only thing that the crowd could see for a short time was their colourfully illuminated shapes. A fairly impressive as well as unexpected thing that added a couple of points to the band’s performance.

‘Bad Habit’ opened the show followed by a combination of older and more recent songs such as ‘Forgive & Forget’, ‘Westside’ and ‘Around Town’ all from the 2014 Listen album.

Mancunian fans did appreciate these songs, but let’s be honest, we were all waiting for the oldies and Luke Pritchard (singer) perfectly knew it: “We know you guys are here for the hits”. Yes, we were. And so, an avalanche of tracks from Konk such as ‘Sway’ and ‘Always Where I Need to Be’ as well as those that have presumably made the band famous from Inside In / Inside Out took charge of the evening — including ‘Seaside’, ‘Ooh La’ and ‘She Moves In her Own Way’. They did not forget about Junk of the Heart with an acoustic version of ‘Rosie’ and even presented a new single under the name of ‘Be Who You Are’.

Luke Pritchard, who was wearing a slightly unbuttoned oversized vintage shirt, commented on his outfit with the crowd between giggles: “This is what people are wearing today”. He kept cheerfully moving and dancing all across the stage and repeatedly stated how grateful they all were to their fans, although this did seem excessive at times. He even promised they would play ‘Naïve’ and so they did choosing it as the closing song. The band seemed indeed to still be at its highest peak as this was just the first part of the two subsequent gigs that the band had planned in the same venue.

It might be due to their David Bowie inspired name, to their Southern accent, to Pritchard’s curls or to who knows what, but The Kooks seem to love their crowd, and their crowd undoubtedly loves them. This is a perfect match.