The Kooks rock Turner Hall Ballroom
You could fault Brighton, England quartet The Kooks for its lack of endurance and you could perhaps fault the band's soundman for a terrible, muddy mix, but you certainly can't fault The Kooks' energy and knack for a tune, especially considering the band's bassist is fairly new and the quartet performed with a stand-in drummer.
The rock and roll outfit landed at Turner Hall Ballroom Sunday night for a sold out show that was part of an international tour supporting the band's second disc, "Konk," released in April.
The Bay Area's The Morning Benders opened the show, warming up a full house with a roughly half-hour of melodic songs that conjured recent bands like Vampire Weekend and Vox Trot with a Talking Heads-style sensibility that mixes dance music with intelligent pop.
After a short break The Kooks appeared and played an all-too-brief 45-minute set that spent surprisingly little time on "Konk," in favor of tunes from its 2005 debut, "Inside In/Inside Out."
The brevity of the set may have been due to the fact that Nicholas Millard from the band Crackout performed as a stand-in for drummer Paul Garred, who is reportedly sidelined with an arm injury. Garred has returned to the U.K. to consult a doctor and is expected to return in time for the band's Boston gig on Friday.
The band also made the unusual choice of opening with the latest single, "Always Where I Need To Be," from "Konk."
Among the other tunes performed from the new record were the disc's stellar opener, "See the Sun," the very Kinks-y "Mr. Maker" and the rawk-by-numbers "Do You Wanna."
Lead singer Luke Prichard was in fine voice, despite a throat infection last month that threatened the entire tour. New bassist Dan Logan -- who recently replaced Max Rafferty -- was spot on and Hugh Harris, whose guitar was most heavily featured in the front of house mix -- to the detriment of Millard and, often, Pritchard's voice -- fueled the band.
The rest of the evening was devoted -- much to the delight of the crowd -- to "Inside In/Inside Out."
Even the four-song encore was heavy on the debut, kicking off with Pritchard performing "Seaside" and "Jackie Big T*ts" solo before Harris arrived for a duet on the alternate version of "See the Sun" and the rest of the band appeared to close out the night with a final salvo.
If The Kooks aren't rewriting the history of rock and roll, they are mashing up its past into something flavorful and addictive. While a lot of bands look back at the Small Faces and others conjure The Faces, few that can pull of both simultaneously as convincingly as these guys.
Add a dose of Bowie glam, Ray Davies' "la la la la" refrains, some modern BritPop and a classic rock and roll swagger and you've got The Kooks .
The show was way too short, but very fun. Pritchard has the best new voice I have heard in a long time! I am glad they played all of Inside in..the first CD is way better than the second anyway.
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