The Kooks live at Leeds Academy – review and pictures

Posted on 24 December 2011
By Cat Marr
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After having to reschedule a performance that was intended for October the Kooks came back to Leeds 02 Academy to give the fans what they paid for and play their final gig of 2011.

Previous to the performance they may have received letters and tweets about the no show but after tonight they make get a few “your lighting gave me a seizure” letters.

With more strobing effects than a 1990s rave they lit the whole room erratically for the majority of their gig. Groups of spotlights shone through the room and darted past quickly like headlights flashing past on a motorway.

Lead singer Luke Pritchard erupted on stage in a loosely fitting charcoal t-shirt and black jeans, which all was in tact until the second song where he ripped open his t-shirt, showing more man cleavage than JLS and just a little too much of his left nipple. The energetic bubbly joker on the stage was a far cry from one of The Kooks earlier interviews on Channel 4’s Popworld, where Simon Amstell played a mock “Si-chiatrist”.

Asking Luke questions about his ex girlfriend Katie Melua asking him if he ever called her “Katie Manure”, making both Luke and Hugh feel extremely uncomfortable and in turn making them look unable to take a joke.

The section was promptly dropped after some extremely awkward viewing. He bounded on the platform on the stage playing with the photographers singing into camera lenses and flirting with the crowd as they opened with “Is it me” hopping around and surprisingly not taking himself too seriously.

Fans of the band were sandwiched into every nook and cranny of the 02 Academy they could find looking down off the balcony it was reminiscent of a scene from Resident evils arms flailing desperate to touch Luke.

If your eyes weren’t firmly glued on the lead singer who was taking every opportunity to the excite the fans your attentions were on the extremely but down played guitarist, Hugh Harris.

Despite being a soft Indie band, the guitarist was working his axe like a rock star each time he had a solo, instead of the light being on him Luke was on the platform and fans would assume he was behind the sound. The guitarist held together the band and made them a lot more entertaining.

The set though quite pleasing had a repetitive theme of “la’s” the performance had more La La’s than a teletubby convention and the syllable sometimes appeared as more of a crutch than an audience participation tool.

The strongest reactions weren’t just saved for the songs off the first album “Inside In Inside Out”, but songs from “Konk” were also appreciated. Shine On was sung over Luke’s vocal – he did have thousands to compete with. 



Another audience favourite was one of their earlier songs “Sea Side”, this was a performed with just a voice and guitar and the support from the majority of the crowd if Luke needed a boost. They finished with a bang leaving “Naive” to last, a song that everyone in the audience seemed to know and appreciate.

The crowd were strong the whole performance, boyfriends were dragged along in their hundreds appearing to win points with their girlfriends for bringing them there.

Big groups of girls were constantly being told to be sit down by the bouncers and their grins and tenacity to keep dancing throughout the whole show was an indication of how the fans rated the performance.

Words by Cat Marr
Pictures by Danny Payne