06 February, 2015

Gig Review… The Kooks @ Tonhalle, Munich, 3rd Feburary 2015

It has been nine years since their first record “Inside In/Inside out” was published. Now, after quadruple platinum status in the UK, The Kooks are back in Germany to introduce us to their new album “Listen”. In June 2014 The Kooks came over to Germany for three concerts which were sold out within seconds.
Now – on their European Tour - The Kooks returned to play at Munich’s Tonhalle. The concert was again sold out and about 2000 people packed the hall. British lads The Amazons supported The Kooks and nailed it with rocking uncensored sounds, really heating up the audience.
The Kooks started their gig with “Around town”, the opening track from their latest album. It took just seconds to get the crowd into those new catchy soul-beats. You could not only hear but also see the change from an indie-rock band to a more R&B and dance-sound band. Still, the four Brits carried an infectious energy with their new material. You couldn’t help but dance your ass off with the new tracks from the record forming the heart of their show and delighting the audience.
Some of the changes can be attributed to the new drummer Alexis Nunez from the “Golden Silvers”, who adds some edgy drums and rhythm. But The Kooks owe most of their new R&B-sound on the record to their hip-hop producer Inflo.
Jumping between new and old songs, the band was supported by a beautiful light show superimposing their shadows or running foxes. I'm not sure why a fox was chosen. Possibly because a fox stands for ingenuity and wisdom? Or because of his superiority to the wolf and his remarkable growth process? In any event, the colourful lightshow suited their mixed set-list. From the track „Down“, with Luke Pritchard displaying his talent for heavy guitar-riffs, to „She moves in her own way“ where Pritchard dance-moves infected the whole audience - the show had it all. The band found a perfect mix of new and old tracks, promoting their new sound and their growth, but also celebrating their old hits. Not even their funny song “Eddie's gun” was missing - a fun song, in which a young Luke deals with his erection problems. They also insisted on playing a brilliant acoustic version of their new track ”Dreams”.

With the pronouncement “We’re going funky now”, Pritchard rung in “Tick of time”, “Westside” and “Always where I need to be” to finish the main set.
After a minute's pause Luke sat down at the piano and played a beautifully calm version of “See me now”. The band closed their concert with “Happy” and the all time favourite “Naïve”, leaving a happy, wired and dancing crowd behind. The Kooks managed to carry us back into teenage-times but also showed what they have learned and how they have grown over the years.
All in all it was another great show and the four lads proved themselves as lifeblood musicians. After ten years The Kooks are still a band that can blow you away! Undergoing various changes, the band’s success is well deserved. There is a reason why their shows are always sold out. And they demonstrate this time and time again.

Gig review by Judith Müller