Wow, what a triumphant return. The Kooks are a band that have always been good at what they do, but their latest slew of singles show glints of them finally entering greatness, a realm of greatness that they were always meant to enter. Their last album, Junk of the Heart, was probably their biggest release to date but it ended up feeling safe and tame rather than bold and ambitious. Upcoming release, Listen, will not feature the band making that same mistake, especially if songs such as ‘Down’ and ‘Bad Habit’ are anything to go by. These tracks are a fantastic display of a band that wants to smash any pre-conceptions that plague their career, yet still find a way to retain what it is that makes them….well; them. It’s a difficult thing to do, to venture into new territory, but The Kooks have done a great job so far and their headlining show at NYC’s Webster Hall was a grand display of that significant confidence that’s been a staple of their career.
That confidence shone brighter than any light could while the four Brighton lads thrashed about on stage. Their pop-inspired melodies caused girls of various ages to swoon over them in a wild manner that would’ve caused most to experience whiplash. It doesn’t hit you until you see it; but in reality most people don’t react that way to bands anymore, and seeing that taking place (the frenzy of their fans) was simply brilliant. There was something contagiously electric about The Kooks this time around and it was the first time where they felt truly harmonized with the music that they were playing. I can distinctively remember how their Britishness used to clash with the band members internal confidence when I’d interact with them during their Junk of the Heart Tour. This confidence ended up feeling like an overflowed bathtub back in 2011 but now in 2014 it feels like The Kooks have finally honed in on what their confidence means to them, and now they truly believe in what they’re doing as a band. They’ve always been a fun and infectious bunch to watch but these new songs are ripe with character, which in turn has caused their live show to feel like a completely different monster. It’s a ballsy move for a band to do that, especially when it seemed like nobody asked them to do it but that just makes me respect them even more. Here they were, four men who really didn’t have anything else to prove, especially in front of a thousand of their screaming fans, yet they still felt compelled to prove how much of a better band they are now in 2014. It’s great to have The Kooks back, and this sold out show at Webster Hall was a pure celebration of that. Enjoy my photos from the show below.
Be sure to check out The Kooks latest single, Forgive And Forget, which is part of their upcoming album Listen, which will be out on September 1st.
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