Record Overplayed
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Keane | Newcastle Uni Global Cafe | 14/02/04

A Keane Ear For Detail

Review and Photos By Dawn


It's Valentine's Day, but forget the clichéd romantic gestures and shamelessly overpriced flowers, for Keane have come to win our hearts with their pure charm, soaring piano melodies and words a million times more poetic than anything Hallmark could ever hope to offer.

The tiny upstairs room is full to capacity and, thus, the East Sussex trio take to the stage to eager applause before bursting into the anthemic Can't Stop Now, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd. The eagle-eyed will have already spotted fresh-faced frontman Tom Chaplin earlier in the evening, a slightly shy-looking figure loitering at the side of the room during the support acts.

Yet as the effervescent Richard Hughes heralds his band's arrival with the unmistakeable drum introduction to their first song, it's obvious that no such shyness exists onstage. While Tom is dancing the night away from the moment the music starts and Richard punctuates his energetic drumming with endearing smiles at the crowd, pianist Tim Rice-Oxley is obviously enjoying himself equally judging by his lively performance to the right of stage.

Let's face it; having been blessed with such a beautiful voice, Tom could sing nursery rhymes and still manage to move an audience to tears. But combining that voice of an angel with such lovingly handcrafted melodies and impassioned lyrics was a stroke of genius on Keane's part, and as the threesome work their way through such spellbinding epics as the gloriously soaring Bend and Break and powerful new B-side Snowed Under, there can't have been a single person in the 150-strong crowd who didn't leave the gig longing for the release of their debut album.

 

For the time being, though, we're treated to a suitably impressive rendition of latest single Somewhere Only We Know where almost everyone in the room must surely have been singing along, leaving the modest Battle trio looking delighted, if a little surprised. And as Tom and Tim return for an encore of the exquisite Allemande, to then be rejoined by Richard for an utterly breathtaking This Is The Last Time and Bedshaped, we realise just how fortunate we've been to witness tonight's magical performance, particularly in such intimate surroundings. If Keane persist in winning hearts at such a rapid rate, it won't be long before the bigger venues beckon and such tiny gigs are nothing but a memory. Here's hoping, because on tonight's evidence they truly deserve it.

Many thanks to the lovely Richard Hughes, to Stew and to Adam. Visit www.Keanemusic.com for more info.

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