Gig review: The Kooks at First Direct Arena, Leeds

The Kooks
The Kooks
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Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. It evokes happy memories of the past and the feelgood music of The Kooks certainly has the desired effect.

A decade has passed since their golden years and they kicked off their anniversary tour with a typically outstanding performance.

The group are touring in support of upcoming album The Best Of... So Far, a greatest hits record that relives the golden years of 2005–2008, and singles from The Kooks’ first two albums Inside In/Inside Out and Konk.

The indie band’s music is enduring and, having played at the 02 Academy earlier this year, they had no problems packing out a considerably bigger venue in the First Direct Arena.

Surprisingly, many of their adoring fans are in their teens and the standing area soon becomes a huge moshpit.

Australian support act DMA’s went down well and The Kooks then take centre stage, with frontman Luke Pritchard on fine form.

They are as energetic as the crowd as all their classic hits are belted out with passion and gusto.

Mid-way through the set, in an attempt to recreate the intimacy of their early gigs, the curtains are drawn and the stage filled with armchairs, standard lamps and faux fireplaces to run through a handful of acoustic tracks.

This was a sharp contrast to the rest of the gig but worked well and showed impressive attention to detail.

It is clear that Pritchard and his pals are passionate about what they do and the feeling was reciprocated from their fans.

Tracks such as Seaside, She Moves In Her Own Way and Ooh La were all rapturously received before a rousing encore ends with Naive.

On this evidence, The Kooks should be around for some time yet – and how we should all raise a glass to that.

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