It was a packed (and I mean PACKED) and excitable Birmingham Academy that greeted The Kooks on Sunday evening for a gig that has been sold out for what seemed like an eternity.
Before the boys hit the stage, it became apparent that the Kooks, in their short time in the musical spotlight, have acquired an eclectic mix of fans — ranging from kagool wearing trendies – fashion statement or protection against the elements on this miserable Sunday eve? I guess we’ll never know — through to wide eyed kooing teenage girls and a large number of families. The crowd were most definitely up for it, and most importantly the Kooks were up for it. You could tell it was gonna be a good un!
And so it was that they kicked off their set with their new single “Always where I need to be” to the back drop of what can only be described as a big blue Kooks emblazoned neon sign, not dissimilar to a fly trap in your local chippie. You get the picture. This was quickly followed by “Matchbox” and “Eddies Gun” and then in the blink of an eye Luke Pritchard had switched to his trusty acoustic weapon of choice and belted out the melodic “Oh la la” and “Sway”. In short the perfect opening gambit.
The mop topped crooners then ploughed their way through what seemed to be pretty much their entire back catalogue mingling such classics as the belting “She moves in her own way” through to the oh so catchy “Do you wanna” — in my opinion the signature tune of their much acclaimed newly released album Konk. They even had to time to intertwine a cover of “All that she wants” by Ace of Bass much to the crowds delight. Tremendous.
Fans favourite “NaÃ¯ve” and new classic-in-waiting “Shine On” were next on the agenda and the up tempo set was rounded off with “You don’t love me”.
Luke Kook found himself all alone back on stage for the encore accompanied only with his acoustic guitar to strum the melodic “Seaside” and ingeniously entitled “Jackie Big Tits”. He then switched back to his more “rock” roll and even had time to mingle with the crowd with a touch of crowd surfing during the superb finale rendition of “Sofa Song”. Splendid.
A number of things are apparent after seeing the Kooks for the first time. Not only have they amassed a set of modern day classics very quickly, but also it appears that their song writing talents haven’t abandoned them with their new album “Konk”. Secondly they offer fantastic value for money, playing nigh on 25 songs — that’s little over 75p a song!! All in all it was a great night leaving none of the mixed bag of Kookites disappointed.
Review – Zak Edwards
Photos – Bianca Barrett