Live review: Kooks at Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre

By on Sunday, 27th April 2008 at 10:46 pm

The Kooks, live at Swindon OasisThis review originally appeared on Hit40UK.

“Now, that’s why we played Swindon!” smirked Luke Pritchard of The Kooks as the band finished their smash-hit single “Naïve” midway through their set. He was having fun, and not afraid to show it as the Brighton four piece played the second night of their UK Tour.

Rewind two hours and Brighton co-residents The Rivers opened up the evening as the hoards of people piled into the gym of Swindon’s Oasis Leisure Centre for what felt like a special after-school treat. Quickly followed by the marvellous Kid Harpoon who bought their British-Decemberists sound to the masses, managing to turn a few sceptics into fans (though that may just be because of the lead singer, who looks distinctly like Mackenzie Crook from a distance!)

Whilst the support acts were good, there was no hiding who we were there for: the Kooks. Lights go down, the backdrop falls to the ground, and we have an empty stage, as a huge sign above the stage glows neon blue announcing “KOOKS”. Then, just as we though the screaming couldn’t get any louder, on swaggers Luke and co, plunging straight into their single “Always Where I Need To Be”. 3,000 people chanting the chorus of “Do do do dododo” is quite a sight to see, and came to be something we saw quite a lot of through the evening.

The first part of the set was mostly their new material, which whilst it received a good reception it was really the stuff from their first album we wanted to hear, and it showed. “We’re feeling a bit fragile, so be gentle!” commented Luke before they hurtled into “Eddies Gun”, though to be fair we’d never have guessed – their post-gig hangovers clearly not that bad on the second night of their tour. “Naïve” saw the first moment of everyone being word perfect, which showed the lads that their old material is still their best loved. All too soon it was time for them to go, soon to be replaced with a footie-style chant of “Kooks! Kooks! Kooks!”

Coming back on his own, Luke did two of the highlights of the night: acoustic versions of “Seaside” and “Jackie Big Tits”, which had us all wishing for savoured moments on Brighton Pier in the summer, and that special someone respectively. Finally, they closed with new song “Do You Wanna?” which saw things get a bit “hot ‘n’ cosy” as crowd surfers galore went over, Luke joined the crowd down the front and general last-song excitement.

Leaving the stage, we knew that Swindon had made its mark on the Kooks, and that they’ll be coming back for more.

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