It’s been a bit of a musical rollercoaster for The Kooks; with a slippery on-record slope since finding an incredible debut inInside In/Inside Out, they’ve been hanging by a thread for the past few albums. But, having ownership over the odd tune to keep them in contention has helped with 2014 seeing them pick up the slack with their fourth LP Listen.
Walking On Cars bring the evening’s support. For a band that sound a tiny bit The Wanted on record, the Irish newcomers bring a combination of anthemic, Coldplay-like drama, tinged with riffs fresh out of the Bloc Party songbook.
As the stage is illuminated by static-screen TV’s, The Kooks arrive. They don’t linger on the screaming crowd, instead jumping straight into into ‘Around Town’; by it’s own admission, no ‘Ooh La’ or ‘Always Where I Need To Be,’ but a sign of the band’s progression. The Kooks have rediscovered a groovy niche and subsequently play their new material incredibly. They bring the funk ten-fold. Sporting some floral facepaint, frontman Luke Pritchard struts himself into a visual reimagination of Mick Jagger, where flawlessly effective guitar solos are laced with retro synth and a cowbell rhythm that scream both ‘disco’ and ‘why do Friendly Fires look like The Kooks now?’ in equal measure.
Laying each audience members’ childhood down whilst making ‘hip gyration’ The Great Hall’s new favourite sport is a damned task if there ever was one, but The Kooks have pulled off this show immaculately. They came, they saw, they shook some ass; they played the hits and they blew our minds all in the space of an hour.