Nostalgia is an incredible thing and the mid 2000’s would see my love for indie music become a thing. Helped by the likes of Razorlight, Bloc Party, The Futureheads and The Kooks. I’ve seen the latter at Leeds Festival but Wednesday saw me experience a full gig from them. I was a little naive (great joke) in thinking that it would just be an alright gig because it turned out to be one of my favourite gigs this year.

Crowds at the Engine Shed are sometimes a little off and don’t really seem up for letting their metaphorical locks down but this gig was different, as soon as I’d got a drink and popped out for a cigarette, I could sense a certain buzz in the air, people were there to have a good time. I unfortunately missed most of the support act and didn’t even catch their name but sounding like a hybrid of The White Stripes and Subways, they were sounding great and served as a suitable warm up to the main event.

Not many people know that The Kooks have now released four albums. The first two; Inside In/Inside Out and Konk were well received but Junk of the Heart and Listen were perhaps overshadowed by more modern indie bands now in the limelight where the Brighton boys once were. I however was aware and quite enjoyed the more recent stuff. There’s definitely a sense of maturity in the writing and performance of the songs and a more general grown up presence about them.

Kicking things off with an early classic, Luke Pritchard, acoustic guitar in hand(s) belted out Seaside, joined passionately by the majority of people in attendance. The lights then came on to reveal the rest of the band as they launched straight in to Always Where I Need To Be. This was the start of the upbeat section of the gig with classics such as She Moves in Her Own Way and Ooh La. Some of the newer tracks such as Down and Around Town slotting in seamlessly to the already established set.

Needless to say, one of the highlights of the gig was the last song, Naive. Whether you’re a fan of the band or not, you’ll know this track and you can’t deny how catchy it is. Everyone in attendance was on board this time and accompanied the band in the last song of the night. After all these years, it’s really nice to see that The Kooks are still well received making my hungover state at work Thursday morning worth every ounce of suffering. If you ever get the opportunity to see them live, make sure you do. You won’t regret it. Just make sure you book the morning off work because you’ll certainly want a drink in hand as you singalong to some of the strongest indie anthems about.

Words by Robert Smith(@robertmsmith)

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