The Kooks
The Kooks
The Kooks
The Kooks

The Kooks | The Snuts
O2 Brixton Academy, London
19th February 2022

Last year saw the 15th anniversary of The Kooks’ acclaimed album Inside In/Inside Out, and they’re currently on a celebratory tour, supported by The Snuts. Naomi Dryden-Smith caught up with them in London, before they head off to Europe.

There’s a party atmosphere at Brixton Academy tonight for this third and final night of The Kooks’ sold-out residency. There’s a massive queue of excited punters outside which formed well before doors opened at 7pm, and inside the security guys are dancing and taking photos for the crowd. With the slow return to normal in live events, every show still feels like a relief and a release.

The Snuts
The Snuts

Scottish band The Snuts show they mean business going straight into absolute banger Don’t Forget It (Punk), released on the Mixtape EP and arguably their best song (depending who you’re arguing with). The set is short and punchy, featuring nearly all of their singles including heartwarmer Somebody Loves You, and ending with stadium rouser Glasgow. A great set to ramp things up for the headliners.

It’s not every band who’d kick off their show with an acoustic solo, but Luke Pritchard comes out alone to delight an ecstatic Academy with fan-favourite Seaside, with every word sung back at him. The band arrive and proceed to belt out the first few tracks from the album – See The World, Sofa Song, Eddie’s World, and so on – before Pritchard somewhat humbly checks with the audience if it would be okay to take us through the whole album. Cue more screaming. (Let’s be frank, he probably could have said anything and this lot would be in complete raptures.)

As the band canter through one of the most important albums of the Noughties (re-released in a special remastered edition last year), the Academy energy never lets up. The band tell us that “it’s quite emotional”. Pritchard is pitch perfect, and guitarist Hugh Harris is on noticeably top form, his jangles and riffs driving the music forward. Drummer Alexis Nunez is great to watch, giving it everything with face contortions to match. The band are clearly enjoying themselves.

The Kooks
The Kooks

Purists would notice obvious deviations from the album track order, plus a few extra songs are included, like Bad Habit (from Listen), Do You Wanna and the deliciously catchy indie pop of Shine On (both from Konk). Great new song Connection, from the forthcoming sixth album due for release in July 2022, reassures that The Kooks have lost nothing of their trademark sound. Matchbox and, of course, ultimate indie classic Naïve, are plucked out of order appear in the encore – to end on a high of waving arms and jumping bodies and to make sure their audience leaves exhausted and very happy indeed.

The Kooks
The Kooks

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All words and photos by Naomi Dryden-Smith – Louder Than War | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | portfolio

Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use/purchase or license any images please contact Naomi Dryden-Smith at naomidrydensmith@gmail.com

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Festivals/Films Editor, mentor to new LTW team members, music photographer and reviewer. London-based House Photographer for O2 Academy Music Group. For commissions/prints contact naomidrydensmith@gmail.com

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