By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester Correspondent
Venue: Manchester Academy – April 21st 2017–THE KOOKS and Clean Cut Kid
The Manchester Academy was the venue for my involvement with the Kooks ‘best of’ tour and what an amazing involved experience it turned out to be. To kick things off though were Liverpool’s own, Clean Cut Kids, bringing to the stage their own blend of sweet Indie Pop and having heard a couple of tracks recently on the radio, I was very much looking forward to seeing the band. Seamless harmonies with soaring choruses, blending well with hard-hitting guitar and they actually sounded better live than on record.
The band interacted well with the audience and soon had them in the palms of their hands, dancing and swaying with each track, but as quickly as arriving they were gone, to much appreciation, to much applause. A perfect beginning.
Soon though it was the turn of The Kooks. A band whose journey has spanned 13 years and 4 albums containing some of the most iconic Brit Pop songs ever written. The soundtrack to many a young life, the set was eclectic to say the least, with many tracks from all 4 albums showing their wonderful faces with some new material thrown into the mix and even a piano solo from Luke Pritchard.
I did feel though that many in the audience were there for the memories of the first two albums and weren’t quite locked into the entire set with lapses in concentration from the gathered very noticeable. Nothing against the songs or their delivery but sometimes views on ‘best of’ can differ markedly between friends! When the classics were rolled out, the crowd loved every minute, especially ‘ Naive’ that nearly, just nearly took the roof off!
So with a nod to the audience and a defiant ‘Vote for the Kooks’ in the next election loudly voiced, the music ended and the band strode off stage, heads held high, souls intact. They are a great band, brilliantly British and superb live. The songs are amazing and truthfully they should be cherished with all of the other greats and on tonight’s showing, that will never be a problem.
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