Last night The Kooks played to a quite young and enthusiastic crowd at Terminal 5. As per usual, the Kooks performed their songs with stylish precision–doling out each song in such a perfect manner that if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that they were pulling a Milli Vanilli on us all.
During the time I was waiting for the band to go on, I remained amused and entertained by making some observations about the first few rows of the crowd:
1. Teenage girls L-O-V-E The Kooks. Seriously, if I was a 16 year old Anglophile female living in the suburbs, yet somehow managing to have great taste in music, I too would be in love with at least one of the members of the Kooks. OK, I’m not even 16 years old any more and I am still probably in love with one of the members of the Kooks. (Try to guess which one.)
2. Boys love the Kooks equally, but will not admit it. So right behind the hold steady of female fans lined up and down the front row was a solid string of MALE fans in the second row. I swear to you, first row = all girls, second row = all dudes. Which made me think two things: A. Sausage-swingers love the Kooks as well and B. Guys at Kooks shows are at least nice enough to let little girls stand in front of them instead of being the obnoxiously TALL GUY in the first row. (All you dudes who have ever stood in front of my during my youth at Coldplay and Travis shows, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I BET YOU ARE STILL ALONE BECAUSE NO GIRL LIKES A GUY WHO STANDS IN FRONT OF SHORT GIRLS AT SHOWS.) Err.. sorry.
3. Kooks fans basically love anything made by other British people, or by people British people love. Hence all the singing along to Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and the clamor caused by the Arctic Monkeys’ “When the Sun Goes Down” coming on the PA system before the show.
Anyhoo, when 9:30 rolled around the band hit the stage–with lead singer Luke Pritchard emerging in a white t-shirt, skinny jeans (natch), and a charming gold headband that he stole from Mary-Kate Olsen’s accessories drawer adorning circumference of his head. And as I’m describing this, I’m sort of realizing what the appeal is of impossibly stylish and skinny men such as Mr. Pritchard to the young women of the world.
You want even MORE t-shirts and skinny jeans tucked into boots? YOU GOT IT!
SKIP THIS PART IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT TEENAGE GIRLS THINK ABOUT
It’s like this: These guys are basically the non-gay versions of their gay boyfriends. Do you know what I mean? It’s like hi, I’m a 16 year old girl and I hate high school, but I love my friends. One of my best friends is Paul, this tall skinny guy who dresses awesome and is totally gorgeous, but he’s also totally gay. But Luke Pritchard is all the things my gay boyfriend Paul is, BUT HE’S NOT GAY. And he’s British!! And we can totally share clothing!!! And unobtainable. *Dreamy sigh*
With every shake, shimmy, and false crowd surfing jump that Luke made, the crowd squealed and swooned accordingly. As they ran through oldies like “Matchbox,” “Naive,” “Time Awaits,” “I Want You Back,” and “Eddie’s Gun,” the audience sang along passionately.
New bassist Dan Logan fit right in with the original 3 Kooks. (Original bassist Max Rafferty left the band in January of this year.) Looking a little like Jesse Bradford in Bring It On, Dan was definitely getting high marks on the girl approval rating. And judging by the way he was dress, I envisioned the tryout process for the band going like this:
Luke: Do you like v-neck t-shirts?
Luke: How do you feel about skinny jeans?
Dan: I like them alright.
Luke: What about tucking them into boots, even in the middle of June?
Dan: I could swing that.
Luke: Are you opposed to wearing women’s jewelry or hair accessories?
Dan: Well, no, not really…
Luke: Alright mate, you’re in the band.
Dan: Erm… do you want me to play the bass first?
Luke: No, that won’t be necessary, thank you.
Although the set was heavy on old songs, they did break out some new ones like my second favorite song on the album, “Do You Wanna,” as well as “Shine,” “Sway,” “Stormy Weather,” “Always Where I Need to Be,” and a cover of The Kinks song “Victoria.”
The encore featured a version of “Seaside” and “Jackie Big Tits,” with Luke doing some weird impromtu vocalization at the end of each–basically messing up the sing-a-long-ability of “JBT.” But he made up for it by doing some mild crowd surfing during the last song of the night, “Sofa Song.”
Video of the knee-surfing:
Openers The Morning Benders seemed like a perfect match in terms of the demographic of the audience. Comprised of four innocuous looking young men with perfectly poppy tunes, the Berkley quartet were probably loving all of the supportive whooping coming from the audience. However, after the show the lead singer caused a giant clusterfuck along the exit path as little ewoks huddled around him asking him to sign their CDs and chit-chatting with him. Gasped one girl to the other, “Ohmigod, it IS HIM!”