“We know what you came for” cried an exuberant Luke Pritchard, “you came here for hits!”. This was the call before Pritchard and co burst into the acoustic summery strums of ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’. The week started with the Brighton quartet announcing that their ‘Best Of’ tour is set to continue into the Autumn with six new arena dates announced. This comes off the back of a seventeen date tour which tonight found itself in a packed Cambridge Corn Exchange. Cambridge following the trend of sold out shows with many including tonight’s selling out months in advance.
The current tour which we’re gathered here for this evening celebrates the four-piece marking a decade together as a band and the mood was as nostalgic as it was excited. “We’re gonna take you back to some of our older material” Pritchard explained off the back of an opening consisting of three songs lifted from 2006 debut, ‘Inside In/Inside Out’. ‘Eddie’s Gun’ was the pumping opener as the band appeared from behind a dropped curtain, “Welcome to the show” we’re told before ‘You Don’t Love Me’ and ‘Sofa Song’ continue us through the mid-naughties thrill ride. That 2006 debut has set the boys on an unstoppable journey and is an album which keeps giving as only last month the record went platinum for a fifth time.
The Kooks debut is an impressive collection of pop songs which are extra polished after years of live performances with tonight being no exception. At its core the success of ‘Inside In Inside Out’ is its commitment to the indie holy grail of an easy sing-along chorus against jangly guitars. Step forward ‘Jackie Big Tits’ ‘Ooh La’ and ‘See The World’ sprinkled throughout the hour and three quarter set to emphasize this.
I can’t harp on about ‘Inside In Inside Out’ all review. The band have in the following ten years released three subsequent studio albums with ‘Always Where I Want To Be’ ‘Sway’ and ‘Shine On’ lifted from their sophomore release all standing out tonight. ‘Forgive and Forget’ stood out from their latest album, 2014’s ‘Listen’. The song oozing with joy from start to finish combining gospel singers, funky bass lines and a euphoric chorus that carried the Kooks summery trademark. The night was completed with two brand new tracks, ‘Broken Vow’ and ‘Be Who You Are’ both will feature on the bands’ best of compilation released later this month.
What strikes home most this evening is the indie-rockers evergreen nature. The demographic was enlightening, thirty-somethings who cling onto the mid-naughties indie nostalgia are vastly outnumbered by younger, noisier fans. As the night closes with a mass rendition of ‘Naïve’ it’s more than apparent that demand for The Kooks is higher than it’s ever been, with a whole new generation of music lovers discovering their music.