Keane, The Fridge, Brixton – May 12th
With Keane’s latest release Night Train they’ve hopped aboard the left-field express, proving again they’re no one-trick pony. If last album Perfect Symmetry had them straying into Bowie territory with the odd ‘wooo!’ thrown in for good measure, this time around they’ve recruited rapper K’Naan for a couple of tracks, including the stand-out Stop For A Minute. The result is still tres Keane, but refreshingly different too…
Keane chose to launch their Night Train EP among their faithful, packing around 1,000 hardcore fans into Brixton’s Fridge nightclub (which lived up to its name by being arctic all evening). By this point in their career with such a loyal fanbase, Keane can afford to take risks but their latest trick of straying into hip-hop territory seems to have paid off. Stop For A Minute has all of Richard’s trademark music & lyrics wrapped up in Tom’s earnest vocals, but above all the rap fits. K’Naan joined the boys on-stage for the feature track, also treating us to another EP number Looking Back. Tom tried to milk the applause for the rapper but really, it wasn’t him we’d come to see.
But this wasn’t just a night for showing off their new material – Keane were on-stage for nearly two hours rattling through their extensive back catalogue including Bedshaped, Under The Iron Sea, Everybody’s Changing and The Lovers Are Losing. They encored with Spiralling and Somewhere Only We Know to great applause and it became clear that these are comsummate performers. Like the greatest chefs always advocate, if you’ve got the best raw ingredients the rest is easy. Keane look like a band who’re loving what they do and that love was shovelled back at them in spades on Wednesday. “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be up here with you lot,” Tom explained, looking visibly moved. He didn’t need to – the love in the room was palpable.