Photos by Jess Suo

The Kooks
Vector Arena
January 15th, 2015

Amid a sea of man buns and short shorts, PATRICK CAMPBELL and JESS SUO witnessed The Kooks play their first ever headlining show in New Zealand last night. Words by Patrick, images by Jess.

My first gig of the year was a pretty good one. Okay, it was great. Insane, even. The Kooks put on the most fun show I have been to in awhile, showing their amazing talent and generally great energy throughout.

It was intimate walking into Vector. These guys make sexy music. It’s difficult to explain what I mean, but everyone around me was saying the exact same thing. Whether it was their subtle, whispering songs, or their loud jams, the boys on stage had everyone entranced and wanting more.

Their set spanned their entire four-album discography, showcasing tracks from their latest album Listen, and their more famous earlier tracks. Whilst the crowd went mad for hits like Naïve and She Moves In Her Own Way, there was appreciation for every song they played.

Live, it was all about the lead singer, Luke Pritchard. He had an insane energy, and as soon as he put down the guitar, he was all over the stage. His dancing was magical, like Mick Jagger meets viral vine dancing. I can also confirm he has the best bum I have ever seen live (coming from someone who saw Beyoncé live, that is saying something). Luke just seemed like the coolest guy; he was so thankful to the crowd all night, and completely owned the stage. Of course, he never missed a note, and managed to kill it with a few guitar solos for good measure.

The rest of the band might have been less vibrant on stage, but they were all insanely talented, swapping instruments with each other and just generally pulling off a great show with no evident mishaps. They also managed to play for a long time, which was cool. You don’t often get to see a band going hard for over an hour with no break.

The closest thing they had to a break was the slower section of the evening. Luke strummed away on an acoustic guitar as he sang Seaside. It was beautiful, and possibly a highlight of the night.

OK, I already take that back, the entire night was so amazing that it was just one big highlight. Whether it was the synth-propelled vibes of Westside, the sing-along to Always Where I Need To Be, or people going mad when the first notes of Naïve were played, the whole show was entertaining and mind-blowing.

I would happily go and see this band play again and again for the rest of my life if I could, and I’m already anticipating their next NZ gig, even though this was just the start of their Australasian tour.

Three things to take away from this show:

1) Luke’s dancing is amazing
2) Luke’s voice is beyond amazing
3) The Kooks music is so sensual. I’m unsure if they realise it though…

See more of Jess Suo's pics.

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