Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall, Esplanade, Singapore
Date: 25th July 2012
Review by: Nadiah H.
Special Thanks: Dan and the Now/Live team
After a great opening performance by The Sets Band (who really deserve a lot of credit!), it was not too long before the British indie rockers, The Kooks, fired on stage for their first performance here in Singapore. I remember how anticipated this show was with Singaporeans constantly begging promoters to bring them in. It was clear the band were fully aware of their effect on their fans when the crowd erupted into screams as they took the stage. To provide relief for their well-awaited fans, the British lads commenced what was an amazing night with a toned down acoustic version of common favorite, “Seaside” that had the crowd singing along.
The first impression I got out of the performance was how much of a rock star front man Luke Pritchard is. His presence onstage seemed almost effortless, a sight I don’t see very often from the front man of a band. He was constantly singing out, and flirting with his admirers in the crowd (one of whom flashed her boobs at him!), all the while preening and strutting his stuff on the slightly raised platform at the front of the stage. I, personally, loved his quirky, exciting to the eyes, dance moves that was present throughout the show. Luke raised his arms to coax the screaming girls to scream louder, and pointed to audience members in front of the stage and in the two balconies that circle the Esplanade Concert Hall to make sure they also felt included.
With several albums behind them already, The Kooks chose from a large library of fan-favorites (something that was not foreseeable), playing dancing favorites like “Sofa Song”, “Ooh La”, “Shine On”, “You Don’t Love Me” and “Always Where I Need To Be”, which gave all of the members in the crowd a treat. Despite the Esplanade Concert Hall being a seating venue, barely anyone in the crowd stuck their butts to the seat. Everyone was literally jumping and singing along despite the constrained area. The band was extremely flawless with their instruments, each member giving a unique vibe to the crowd. One of the highlights of the night was definitely when Pritchard took an unreleased song to the piano titled, “The Saboteur”. That was exactly when I realized how talented these guys are, being able to coordinate their talents on their respective instruments and execute it into such an extraordinary track. The one and a half hour set seemed so short, leaving the crowd screaming and chanting for encore. No disappointment there! The Kooks came back on and stole the show with “Do You Wanna” and of course, the long awaited, “Naïve”. “True or false, it may be… She’s still out to get me~” is still stuck in my head by the way.
I’m still amazed at the equal mix of songs from all three of their albums. Often, when band tours to a new country, they focus on primarily pushing their new material. It was obvious the band were eager to show their appreciation to the loyal Singaporean fans by giving them a real Kooks performance.