Written By: Thomas Anderson
The Gig: The Kooks
Venue: 02 Academy, Newcastle
The legends that are The Kooks are on their highly-anticipated, 'The Best Of...So Far' tour right now.
And tonight was a glorious stop off in Newcastle's O2 Academy for a band that blew the North East away in an inspiring sold-out show.
Openers Clean Cut Kid - a four-piece indie-pop group - are currently causing new ripples in the national scene. They're unbelievable live, and possibly one of the most memorable opening acts I've ever seen. Their stage presence really catches your eyes and keeps you locked into the performance. Bulky and bearded front man, Mike lead the band through an uplifting set list; with charismatic keyboardist Evelyn sweeping the stage with euphoric synths and pads. When they played fan-favourite 'Leaving You Behind', it created an atmosphere of pure joy and togetherness for both the band and the packed audience. They finished under a spotlight together, performing cheerful anthem 'Jean'. It was a fantastic set and a perfect warm up for The Kooks.
After a short interlude, a massive curtain engulfs the entire stage and gently sways in the breeze of Newcastle's O2. Everyone knows who's behind it, but the suspense is incredible. Sound effects bellow through the room in an epic build up as silhouettes of the band members form. Then suddenly the curtain flies to the ground, and the Kooks dominate the stage. The crowd goes insane and ripples form side to side. They start out with a few favourites from their album 'Listen', with bouncy indie anthems such as 'Bad Habit' that get the room going wild; with happy, indie-style 'mosh pits' forming in every direction. Frontman, Luke Pritchard loved the North East crowd and was constantly thanking everyone for their support, especially during 'Seaside' and 'She Moves In Her Own way' in which there were hundreds of fans sat on shoulders throughout.
There was so much unity tonight, it was beautiful. After multiple encores, they finally played their anthem, 'Naive'. The night finished with tears and smiling faces all around.
Photography by Stacie Davies