Posted Thursday, May 17, 6:08 p.m.
The Kooks rocked 9:30 Club last Saturday night, bringing their unique sound and style to D.C. fifteen months after the release of their debut album.
After the monumental success of “Inside In/Inside Out”, The Kooks have been on the road for over a year, selling out almost everywhere in both Europe and the US. Their US tour began with a debut performance at Coachella, which, in an interview before the show at the 9:30 Club, singer Luke Pritchard described as “pretty amazing…when the sun set, it was (explitive) great.” But after criss-crossing North America and coming off two shows at New York’s Fillmore, which were attended by such notables as We Are Scientists’ Chris Cain and Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, one usually expects more subdued shows at the end of the tour. However, for a band that says that although the sell-outs could be attributed to “a lot of young girls,” Pritchard also admiotted that “every gig is different,” and they seemed excited to perform for the D.C. audience Saturday night.
The songs played made for a much different show than I had expected. Because it has been more than a year since the release of their album, there were a handful of new songs premiered at the set; however, they had no lack of gusto in their delivery or in playing new tunes back to back rather than supporting them with favorites. Nonetheless, those girls in the front row, queued up since their moms dropped them off, still got the hits, including their breakthrough “Na’ve,” “She Moves in Her Own Way” and “Sofa Song.” Pritchard also did not show any lack of inhibition as he climbed into the audience, danced around the stage, and spoke incoherently, all before returning to the stage to perform a solo-acoustic performance of what is arguably the best song on their album, “Jackie Big Tits.” His stage demeanor does not seem to reflect his subdued attitude off stage, where he seems like a very hard working individual. Thankfully, his tunes are thoughtfully crafted and hold their own, and therefore his on-stage rowdiness is completely deserved.
The Kooks are one of those great bands that seem to be set aside rather quickly, but whether it’s coming up on shuffle on an ipod or you’re catching them live, the sentiment that they are a solid band is reinstated and their songs become fresh in your mind again. Saturday offered a well-executed show by a well-formed, smart, unique band that will only continue to succeed if they keep doing what they’re doing.
I had a great time, and I thank you Mr. Pritchard.