The Kooks at the Paradise Rock Club on May 13

A review of The Kooks at the Paradise Rock Club on May 13, 2007

, Staff

The crowd was buzzing with speculation before The Kooks took the stage at the Paradise Rock Club on Sunday night. It was the perfect night for Brit-rock fans in Boston, with the Arctic Monkeys playing over on Lansdowne Street at Avalon. Many were forced to pick between the two – the Arctic Monkeys were, after all, the first of a slew of British pop bands to break the American music scene a couple of years ago, and The Kooks’ music has constantly been compared to their primate predecessor’s style. Still the Paradise was filled with fans who chose The Kooks, and who were surely glad that they did after the show.

Frontman Luke Prichard’s energetic showmanship and the band’s faultless performance had the audience jumping throughout the 90-minute set of the final show of the band\’s United States tour. The Kooks kicked off their show with “Seaside,” “See the World” and “Eddie’s Gun,” all of which are on their debut album Inside and Out. After achieving immense popularity in the United Kingdom, The Kooks, who call Brighton, England home, embarked on their first US tour last October. Still, they have yet to achieve Arctic Monkey-style mainstream notoriety in the US, but their American fan base of Anglos and Anglophiles seems to be growing. The single “Naïve” has reached number 22 on the “Hot Modern Rock Tracks” Billboard chart – hey, is a start.

Prichard, 22, didn’t say a lot to the audience as he performed “Matchbox,” “Ooh La,” “Time Awaits” and “She Moves in Her Own Way.” Actually, Prichard didn’t say much more than a few “thanks” and “we’re The Kooks from Brighton, England.” Despite his inarticulacy, Prichard connected with the crowd through his vivacious antics – like singing while precariously standing on the speakers and constantly making eye contact with audience members.

The Kooks began wrapping up the night with “Naïve” and “You Don’t Love Me.” After leaving the stage for an extended period of time (so long that the crowd’s cheering began to die down) the band returned to play four more songs, including “Jackie Big Tits” and “Sofa Song.” Martin Hoeger, the bassist from the opening act Illinois, joined The Kooks on stage for the final song. Then Illinois lead singer Chris Archibald ran out on stage and mooned the audience. The Kooks may not have broken America yet, but it seems like they had a good time while they were here.

Illinois, who had been touring with The Kooks for the past few weeks, played a 40-minute set before the main event. The Pennsylvania band’s music is a sort of folk-rock with a twang – Archibald plays a banjo on several songs. Although the band’s music is in stark contrast with The Kook’s Brit rock, the crowd easily got into the indie band’s songs from their album What The Hell Do I Know?

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