REVIEW The Kooks, O2 Academy

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Ten years ago when Brighton band The Kooks released their debut LP Inside In/Inside Out, little did they know that they were unleashing a wealth of indie-pop hits to the world.

Last night, a sell-out crowd joined The Kooks on what frontman Luke Pritchard describe as “a little trip down memory lane” as they worked their way through an impressive set list packed full of the bands biggest hits as part of The Best of…So Far Tour.

For many The Kooks’ music holds a huge sense of nostalgia, which is why I found myself reliving my early teens alongside the rest of the crowd – not a bad way to spend a Saturday night in the city.

The Kooks may be the last living indie-pop band around, but that didn’t stop them from getting the gig flying from the get go. The setlist was an absolute winner; a blend of old school hits from their debut album, alongside tracks from albums Konk, Listen, Junk of the Heart, and their brand new track Be Who You Are.

Their catalogue of hits is seriously impressive. Whether it was sending the crowd mad with You Don’t Love Me, Eddie’s Gun and Sofa Song or chilling out the vibe with their softer songs, there’s a reason why The Kooks are continuing to win over the hearts of their fans a decade later. Their songs are just as infectious as they were when they were first released – and that was proven each and every time a signature chord was struck.

It’s impossible not to dance and sway along to their music; from the heartfelt Ooh La, to the stunning Seaside – which Pritchard refused to play until he saw as many people as he could on shoulders, creating the ultimate festival atmosphere.

Their stage presence is too what makes The Kooks such a sheer joy to watch. Whilst Pritchard bombed around the stage with a wide smile on his face – whilst switching between both the acoustic and electric guitar and piano – the friendship between them seems to be stronger than ever. The stage is their home, and it’s so clear to see.

Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without an encore – or two to be exact. The band closed with Shine On, before bringing their five-star gig to and end with their iconic track Naive.

They may be 10 years down the line, but The Kooks are showing now signs of slowing down any time soon, and I can’t wait to welcome them back to Birmingham in the future.

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