Last night, I had the good fortune to see The Kooks play at the 9:30 Club right here in Washington, DC. The first time I heard the Kooks, they were just starting to get radio play in London, and I can remember sitting on a bus on my way to work at Portcullis House listening to “Naive” on my ipod. I’ve been following them ever since.
No, the Kooks are not exactly innovative, or lyrical geniuses. But, their songs are extremely catchy and the lead singer (Luke) has an unique-sounding voice and phenomenal stage presence. They are wonderful performers, and each band member looks like they are having the time of their life whilst playing. Also, they sound and act so very British, and as a bit of an anglophile, this excites me greatly.
The show last night started with the opening band, Illinois. They were good, albeit a little strange. They were all over the place with a weird “Dear Lord, if you’re listening, I’d like more hair” thing, some country-inspired rock reminicent of 3 Doors Down, and then some rap-like thing. Overall, very entertaining and very good. I especially enjoyed the electric banjo playing, and believe because of this band I think banjo-ists are sexy.
The Kooks came out in their typical British rock star ways, adorning their skinny bodies with extremely tight pants and v-necked shirts and a mop of dirty, long hair on their heads. Paul was back on drums after an extended injury, so I was psyched. I was also psyched that we were about 8 people back from the stage. As for the music, they were awesome. They played a mix of songs from their first and second albums, and interspersed their hits and popular songs so that even those who weren’t avid fans would stay pumped. Luke is so entertaining. He uses the entire stage, throws around the microphone stand, stands at the edge of the stage, kicks and yells and gets the audience involved. During one of the last songs, he actually crowd surfed a bit, and was about 2 people away from me. I could have gone over to him and been a part of the madness, but I feared the combination of my love of all things British and my love of dirty musician types would have led to sexual assault.
Anyway, last night was awesome and if you can catch a Kooks show I highly recommend doing so.
PS- I took some great pics and will post them later today.