The Kooks Return To L.A. And Keep It Fun, Carefree & Loose The British Rockers Infuse The Palladium With A Spirited Performance
LOS ANGELES, CA- Brit Rock saw a massive revival in the 2000s due in large part to a handful UK bands. The Kooks were one of them. Their debut album Inside In/Inside Out is an outstanding album, which was confidently carefree despite it being laden with clever songwriting and very skillful musicianship, both on the instruments and on the consoles, invoking classic rock themes while remaining in the moment.
Fast forward over a decade, and The Kooks released their fifth studio album, Let’s Go Sunshine, in 2018. While The Kooks have experimented with various styles and techniques throughout their discography (Junk of the Heart felt like a more polished album while Listen sounded more dance-centric), Let’s Go Sunshine has The Kooks doing that they do best, singing songs that will have you swaying to their rhythms and shouting along with the lyrics to anthemic choruses; giving you music that brings a little sunshine into the room. On February , 12 2019, they brought some of that Sunshine to Los Angeles.
Though spring-touring in support of their 5th studio album, the British lads kicked off their set with a fan favorite from their debut album, the first single they released, “Eddie’s Gun”. They didn’t dive into their newer fare until the third song when they performed “All The Time”, but by then the crowd was already dancing and clapping along with the band’s energy.
Luke Pritchard proved to be a surprisingly spry and entertaining frontman. When he wasn’t armed with a guitar, he would strut and dance around the stage like you would imagine a classic British rocker would. This was my first time seeing The Kooks perform live, and I suppose I just wasn’t ready to see him strut around the stage like that.
Luke also engaged the audience with some loose banter throughout the performance, and though he never spoke at length, what he did say revealed the entire spectrum of his personality. From the humorous (“How’s the cannabis business, here? Good?” he said, to massive cheers, with a smile), to the serious (“We’re living in crazy times. Lot to do and lots to fight. This song is for wankers,” he said prior to “Kids”) and offhand when he suggested taking requests from the audience (they stuck to the original setlist if you were wondering).
And I think it’s that kind of fun, carefree and loose approach (in addition to the great music) that hooks fans and has them coming back to the concert venues to see The Kooks perform whenever they’re back in town. They’ve never really had a chart busting album in the United States, but when the crowd is all smiles and bouncing to the music, using their loudest voices for every call and response, you know that the goods that they are delivering on stage is top tier.
“This crowd is fucking beautiful,” Luke said following an uproarious applause after a song. Well, every thing looks better when there a little bit of Sunshine glowing bright. Thanks, gents.