By Rebecca Hele
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons by Aru Asdfg
Whenever I listen to The Kooks, I feel a slight nostalgia as they force me to return to memories of my school days and relaxing in the park.
That might seem crazy as they are still a contemporary band but it’s been three years since the release of their last album Konk.
The Kooks, who formed in Brighton, return to the stage after the release of their third album Junk of The Heart. They’ve taken a lot of time working on this album – Luke Pritchard revealed they scrapped half an album before recording the Junk of The Heart. The Kooks performed in Portsmouth on Friday night as part of their upcoming tour. They were fresh out the studio and it showed – Luke’s vocals were sharp but he didn’t interact with the audience as much as I’d hoped for.
I wondered whether I would be disappointed by their performance as I often am with other bands that have achieved international success (and yes I’m talking to you, Kings Of Leon, your main focus is no longer the music, but the production and lighting). To my relief, this was not the case, it was as if The Kooks had never been away, the music was raw and it sounded amazing.
The set list was an amalgamation of old and new tracks as they promoted their new album so they opened with Is it me? from Junk of The Heart followed by “Always where I need to be.” The newness of the album was reflected in the audience response as they came alive for their older tracks. This doesn’t mean to say Junk Of the Heart isn’t of the same quality, whatever the critics have said, I have fallen in love with it.
As the encore faded I felt a little worried that I wouldn’t hear my favorite track, Seaside, but Luke didn’t let me down and left the best until last. It was electrifying; it felt like the first time I’d ever heard music… The critics may say The Kooks are burnt out and the lyrics are half-arsed, but with a sold out UK tour and a top ten album, it seems the fans disagree.