Kooks Captivate Crowds at Esplanade
By Nishant Store, photos by Dominic Phua and Ryan Peters (Now/Live)
The Esplanade’s Concert Hall has a large seating capacity. A person can comfortably seat himself (or herself), and not worry about space constraints. Oblivious to this fact however, thousands of fans sprung up and clustered together seconds after The Kooks hit the stage, singing, dancing and nodding frantically as the submerged themselves in the band’s energetic British indie-rock music.
The Kooks opened with ‘Seaside’, a track off their first album, and then swam through some of their newer work, until front man Luke Pritchard stopped to tell the fervent fans that they were going to play their first single, ‘She Moves in Her Own Way’. The audience chimed in throughout the tune, instantly recalling lyrics to the song that first put the Kooks in the spotlight.
Throughout the performance, Luke bolstered the frisky crowd, gesturing for them to notch up the decibels. The dedicated fans responded with fervor, until an acoustic rendition of ‘Jacky Big Tits’ silenced them by dropping jaws. Latching on to the audience’s relaxed vibe, The Kooks paraded ‘Sway’, an acoustic rock hit with plenty of psychedelic guitar parts to reinitiate passive spectators.
One of the show’s highlights was an unreleased song titled ‘The Saboteur’. Luke Pritchard startled fans by seating himself and playing the piano, showcasing a side to The Kooks that was previously unheard of. The song encompassed numerous rhythmic variations, guitar effects and complex melodies, leaving a lot of viewers hoping that the band would release it on a future album.
After playing an extended version of ‘Do You Wanna’, their single from the album ‘Konk’, the Kooks took to the shadows. Fans screamed for an encore until they were deafened by their own boisterous voices. After a couple of minutes, the band graced the stage with its presence once again, playing an up-tempo version of ‘Junk of the Heart’. Finally, The Kooks treated audience members to a rendition of ‘Naïve’, subtly reminding fans that they’d be naïve to think that the band would walk offstage without playing its biggest hit. After the Kooks retreated, elated fans continued humming along to their tunes, unable to shake off twenty-two of the catchiest alternative rock songs this generation has to offer. Let’s hope that The Kooks will find it worth their while to make a return trip in the near future!