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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