A Kings of Leon, Friendly Fires and slightly Foals sounding band kick off the evening in Leicester and guests of Keane’s tour Zulu Winter. They’re music is indie alternative based and are really pleasant to listen to, catchy and fresh. Seeing them live added nothing in terms of showman ship but I feel this will come with time, and being up against the kings of showman Tom Chaplin (which we will get to later) is going to be hard to stand up against with only 1 year of experience. I feel sorry to say that they have an almost tumble weed collective sound with Chris Martin fronted vocals that does fit straight into the already tough market that is Indie section, with single ‘Silver tongues’ I found especially nice to listen to, but unlike their obvious counterpart indie influences there was nothing really gut-wrenchingly different for me to develop any real personal attachment with them, but I do feel its getting there so they maybe ones to watch.
Moving on to our headliners Keane the southern mainstream alternative pop rockers who are well accustomed to the industry with their birth over 15 years ago in 1997, not to mention hitting the ground running creating 5 number 1 albums, 1 slightly fame crazed break followed by 1 album soaring their cult following once more. Now before I continue on to my review I myself having never seen Keane before I wanted to know why so many people have told me that they are such a great band live and why so many people seemed so keen for Keane as it were. It was clear by Tom announcing their 9-year absence from venue De Montfort Hall, that they can really pull in the punters with the 2,000 venue packed to the brim. Previous to the show I only enjoyed a few of their songs and always preferred something a little more challenging or different as far as alternative music listeners go, But what I saw standing in the middle of that electric filled crowd stamping the floor by the end of the gig for an encore with the rest of the Keane junkies (which is very rare by the way), was probably one of the best live acts I’ve seen in such a long time.
Cultivating a set of perfect piano with a rigid and empowering sound fronted by sweat dripped vocals the whole package provided was flawless, with Tom belting each and every tune out with such volume and control like he’d just poured it out of his soul on to paper for the first time. There were brightly lit performances with ‘Neon River’ a captivating acapella version of song ‘Sea fog’ and an end on some old tunes including ‘spiraling’ to really cap off where this whole thing started. Not only were the performances and set brilliant although a little focused on promoting their current album in areas (but which band doesn’t), there was just something magical about the whole experience that really picks you up and sinks you in deeper to the bands whole ethos which was just elaborated further by the amazing interaction and personal touch Tom had with you that I definitely feel is something that can never be transcribed and felt in CD format, which is such a good quality to have by any live band.
Although I had my pre-judgments about they type of music they produce focusing on an ideal of them being some mainstream guilty pleasure that isn’t as ‘hip’ as newbie’s Zulu Winter’s sound, this was really dead and buried by the time the floor stopped thumping and that crowd finally ceased to go home. This band will grown some sort of positive brain muscle out in you that you never knew you owned before and are definitely a top live act to see for any pop rock Coldplay or Snow Patrol fan.