The Kooks proved that after ten years they've still got it

Can you believe we've been singing tracks from The Kooks' debut album Inside In/Inside Out for more than a decade now? What better reason to celebrate than the realisation that we're all getting really old?

  • }
Image source: 
Rochelle Flack

The Belligerents were the perfect energetic opener for such an occasion. Kicking things off with a bang, they had the crowd moving along to their infectious, psych-rock grooves from the getgo -- have you seen frontman Lewis Stephenson dance moves, how could anyone stand still? Screw the guitar or drums, if the cheers every time Lewis picked up his record were anything to go by, we may just see a resurgence in the instrument formerly relegated to grade three music classes. Bring things to a banging close with their stunning single 'Caroline', it's clear The Belligerents are set to play rooms this big off their own backs.
The Kooks entered the stage to a collage mixtape intro, but it was their opener 'Eddie's Gun' that really got the crowd going. It was only fitting that they kicked things off with their first ever single, this was an anniversary celebration after all. Keeping the enthusiasm and nostalgia filling the room, The Kooks powered through 'Sofa Song'and 'Ooh La' without taking a breath. One of their more recent singles 'Be Who You Are' was also thrown in for good measure -- proving The Kooks have lost none of their indie-rock sensibilities with time.
Just the opening chords of 'Ooh La' had the crowd in a spin, while they revelled in every call and response opportunity provided by 'Down'. Finally frontman Luke Pritchard took a moment to address the crowd, a brief "Hi, we're The Kooks" before hit single 'She Moves In Her Own Way' had the crowd, and the band, in a frenzy again. It was hard to believe the band (or fans for that matter) could keep this up, Pritchard clearly in disbelief that this many people still so passionately loved the songs he'd written years ago.
Taking the energy down for only a brief moment -- the most poignant and emotional of the night -- Pritchard remained on stage alone, taking to the piano to perform 'See Me Now', a tribute to his late father. This is a best of tour and the crowd requests were coming thick and fast, "Don't worry, we'll play 'Naive' at some point," Pritchard laughed, before picking up his acoustic guitar for 'Sway'.
As the main part of the set wound down, the usual "One More Song" chants were replaced by the familiar "oh-woah-woah-oh" refrain of 'Bad Habit' and a jubilant stomping applause. So when Pritchard finally emerged with just his acoustic guitar for 'Seaside' it received the biggest singalongs so far. Save, of course, for 'Naive', which had the whole room singing at the top of their lungs.
Nostalgia is a real good time.