Record Overplayed
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Keane | Northumbria Uni and Leeds Uni | November 2004

Brilliantly Keane

Review and photos by Dawn


Given their album's stratospheric success and the fact that they must surely be worn out after six months of worldwide touring, it would be the easiest thing in the world for Keane to rest on their laurels and perhaps believe that they needn't try so hard now that they're back on home soil.

But this is Keane we're talking about - a band who've worked so long and hard for their recent triumphs that, for the place from which they hail, Battle couldn't be more fitting a name and with this their first UK tour since April, they're back to prove that their recent success is truly justified.

As those of us who've watched them climb know all too well, the intoxicating combination of Tim's stirring piano, Richard's emotive drums and Tom's soaring voice has always made for an utterly compelling performance, yet as Keane have developed as a live act, their stage show has grown with them. The video backdrop of the April tour remains but is now complemented by some truly brilliant lighting effects, whilst the addition of extra instruments - including a Hammond organ for Tom - gives extra depth to their already powerful sound.

When the band visited smaller venues in both these cities back in April, they played to capacity crowds who sang along to Somewhere Only We Know; now the singing and cheering begin before the trio have even taken to the stage and a seemingly endless sea of people sing every word of every song back to a triumphant - if slightly overwhelmed - Tom.

The familiar songs sound as glorious as ever: We Might As Well Be Strangers crashes to its crescendo climax amidst a dramatic storm of flashing green strobe lights, a captivating video makes an already moving She Has No Time still more powerful and On A Day Like Today's mix of eerie electronica and wonderfully discordant piano are even more striking here than on Hopes and Fears.

But fear not, for the two new songs previewed indicate that Keane have plenty more tricks up their collective sleeve: Nothing In Your Way - the more up-tempo of the pair - sees Tom take to the organ to perform its instantly infectious ending, whilst the much mellower Hamburg Song showcases Keane at their heartbreaking best, Tom surely sending shivers down thousands of spines each time the words of the delicate chorus left his lips.

 

And while their melodies are magnificently moving, between songs Tim, Tom and Richard can't keep the grins from their faces - and who can blame them? It's obvious that the Keane boys are having the time of their lives and, judging by the passion and enthusiasm evident in the crowds, they're not the only ones. The charging bull which adorns the cover of forthcoming single This Is The Last Time is wonderfully apt because Keane's live shows are bigger, bolder and better than ever.

 

 

Thank you, as ever, to Richard. Thanks also to Tony and to the wonderful staff at Leeds Uni. Keane's single This Is The Last Time is released on 22/11/04 - visit www.Keanemusic.com for more info.

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