A venue that appears relatively modest from the exterior seems to double in size once inside its hallowed walls, St Luke’s, or The Bombed Out church as it has been called since the Blitz and is likely to remain so, played host to The Kooks.
Despite Luke Pritchard and co. being missing in action for several years, the turnout under the stars in the open air venue suggests that their next venture is still highly anticipated. Their enthusiasm for the stage undimmed after a lengthy slog around these isles and further afield, the group powered through the highlights of ‘Inside In-Inside Out’ and ‘Konk’ with consummate ease.
Well-received new material provided the remainder of the set, faring better than the slightly damp squibs from ‘Konk’, the rushed-sounding second album.
The gig a late addition to the Sound City line-up, the band’s current fan-chosen tour, playing out of the way locales, has proved an extremely successful way of them re-introducing themselves to their fanbase.
‘Naïve,’ half a decade on still has much the same effect as it did on release, resulting in a crowd sing-along. Similarly, ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’ has the same reaction, bordering on near-delirium from some in attendance.
With band members shuffled and an album postponed until later this year, after such setbacks, The Kooks now firmly appear to be on the front foot again. The capacity crowd certainly spoke volumes, as despite not being as hip as they once were, The Kooks can still pack ‘em in, the vagaries of fashion clearly not an issue for those who attended.
Former Beta Band lynch pin Steve Mason appears to have jettisoned much of the Wizard’s convention/carnival dress code of his former band. Arriving onstage in dressed down green coat and jeans, the singer-songwriter now ploughs a more straightforward furrow than the wayward course the Beta’s did.
With the bulk of the set understandably drawn from last year’s debut solo offering, the first record of Mason’s to carry his own name, the set avoids the experimental offerings of his Black Affair project.
The Masque Theatre is certainly well-attended for the show, but Mason’s straight ahead approach feels slightly jarring compared to the inspired oddity of his earlier work.
Here’s our bumper gallery from the first night at Liverpool Sound City, featuring pictures of The Kooks, The View, Chain and the Gang, The Rialto Burns, Get People, Steve Mason and Luke Fenlon.
Click the gallery link below the pictures here.
Review by Richard Lewis
Photography by Marie Hazlewood
and Conor McDonnell