Big stage nerves perhaps- The Kooks glasto performance put to the test.
Warming up the stage for The Killers, pre-headline band the Kooks had a lot to live up to, unfortunately not meeting the standards expected by the eager crowd.
Reading Festival NME tent last year was the first time I saw the Kooks live, even then I was disappointed with the performance. Why I chose to view them again, above personal favourites The Editors, I don't know- peer pressure perhaps? Three cock-ups spring to mind almost instantly. It was almost as though the Kooks didn't trust enough of their material and certain songs were dragged out to fill the time space a pre-headliner received. Permitting front man Luke to introduce songs and slur his words out was the second, as I struggled significantly to understand what he was saying when he was speaking to the audience let alone singing to them- accent or alcohol maybe? But their biggest mistake was quite possibly the principal blunder of the festival. The Arctic Monkeys leaving mid set to bring on stage an organ was odd enough, but for the Kooks to play classic tune 'Na´ve' only half way through almost brought me to tears. Little introduction, at least little of which I could comprehend, didn't do the title justice. Leaving on the ultimate high would have by default occurred had the Kooks played 'Na´ve' last.
The set was not all bad. Regardless of how they perform, the Kooks have the ability to write tunes which grab the audience and entice them to sing along. New material sounded promising, and the audience could join in on the second chorus. The set had a good feel about it- you knew with the Kooks you would receive excellent songs and big choruses. Couples were singing to each other and lone characters were picking up the phone to share the love of the crowd. Perhaps I was biased and the factors mounted against the Brighton lads. Jammed between Maximo Park and the Killers, clashing with the Editors and losing a welly in the mud are all events of that evening and unfortunately, the Kooks couldn't impress me to the same extent the band before and after managed to. Next year maybe.