Tag Archives: Keane

Keane Manchester Arena 2012 – Review

Having already seen the likes of Muse and the Killers this month already, it was nice to finish the month with a breathtaking end. Keane are one of my favourite bands, so I am not going to pretend that this is acompletely unbiased review. I am sure as I mentioned Keane, there were some music snobs out there that will be tutting, shaking their heads or some more foul mouthed telling me to fuck off with my shit taste in music… Well I won’t and don’t use that type of language with me.

Already the gig was set to be something very different, it was being performed “in the round”. Now I’ve never seen band that has played in the round, and I was very interested to see how this would work or might not work. Another major difference to this gig, was that the standing area on the floor, was changed so that they were seats there instead. Now even though this would sacrifice some of the attendance, it made sure that those lucky enough to be on the floor (me) would get an intimate atmosphere in an arena setting.
Before the show started.

Before the show started.

Support was provide by Wolf gang, who I thought sounded excellent. Annoyingly their lead singer, decided to stick to only to two ends of of the stage. We managed a quick glance at the side of his head at times but that was it. This only added to the anxiety that we’d be the unlucky one, and end up having to look at the back of Tom Chaplin’s head for the majority of the performance. There wasn’t long for me to worry about this though, as soon the lights was turned off. A wonderfully atmospheric walk on music played as Keane walked through the audience on to the stage; a nice touch. Soon thankfully, the fact this was a seating ground floor lost all meaning as the crowd stood. This was great, it struck me at the time as how rare this is, I could stand so close to a stage, and have so much room.

The show got straight in to full steam with the soaring (expect that word a lot, he has a soaring voice) You are young. The show carried on with always popular Bend and Break, before moving on to On the Road. On the road, is a song that can quickly warm up a crowd, and Tom Chaplin did his best to get the appreciative, but quiet crowd going. On the Road is a song with plenty of “Ohhh ohhh” moments for the crowd to sink there their teeth into. Soon any fears that I would be stuck seeing the back end of the band for the entire gig, had ended. After 3 songs; Tom had already done 100 laps of the stage, giving everyone a good view, we had seen Richard on the drums revolve round on a turn table, Tim on Keyboard change to a piano on the other end of the stage, and Jessie on bass, had done a few laps around also. This carried on throughout the whole show, the planning and rehearsal quality could clearly be seen. There was a real effort by the lads to make sure everyone got an equal amount of the view.

I had seen Keane live earlier this year, at the 02 academy in Leeds, it was great show. But comparing it to this arena version, would be unfair. It was a superbly designed set. Now It didn’t have the wow factor of bands that the likes of Muse have. But never-the-less, it looked great. It was a simple design to the one in Leeds just bigger, but the real difference was in the lighting. It was perfectly suited to each song. And from what I hear, it looked even better from further away from the stage.

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Once they played Everybody’s Changing, the set was in full swing. Slightly disappointingly though, was the lack of the audience’s going all in, when singing the song with the band. Though a deafening applause after the song showed how much the crowd appreciated the band. Half way through the set, there was a slow down in the pace of the performance, as Keane (and one song with just Tom Chaplin and a guitar) played two beautiful acoustic songs. Then the pace soon sped quickly back up with Disconnected.

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Tom Chaplin’s vocal were great as usual

Soon Keane pulled out the big guns, playing Is It Any Wonder, This Is The Last Time, and Somewhere Only We know. During which the stage took another slight transformation as huge spiralling pillars of light appeared from above the stage and came down. The main set ended with Bedshaped, I have mentioned before this is my favourite song, and it was great to hear the audience sing a long with this. Tom was great in getting the crowd involved, in a very Freddie Mercury way. He talks to the crowd through the whole set, and lets them feel that they are a part of something special and unique.

A little lighter of a shot

A little lighter shot

Of course as usual there, was a quick pause as the band took a few minutes to do the traditional encore. Once they came back on they played the emotional Sea Fog, the rousing and addictivly catchy Sovereign Light Cafe, and they finished on the rocky Crystal Ball. During Sovereign Light Cafe, 3 large disco balls descended. And of course these disco balls stayed for crystal ball.

This was an absolutely amazing gig, and if you see Keane are touring your town (or just close by) sometime soon, I would whole heartedly recommend seeing them. Even if you are not the biggest fan of the music itself, you won’t be disappointed with the performance.

Till next time Keane….

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Top 5 albums of the 2000’s

Since I don’t rate my music knowledge enough, and feel I haven’t listened to enough of the ‘classic’ albums of the past decades… so I only feel confident enough to give a list of the last 12 years or so. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but this is only my opinion and I think, sorry know that many, many people will disagree with it. Hell sometimes I disagree with it…

5) Hopes and Fears – Keane

The first album in my very fluid list of albums, is the début LP by piano rock group Keane. Before people shout ‘boring’ and ‘depressing’ at me very loudly (you know who you are), people should give this a full listen. Hopes and fears is chocked full of emotion and feeling. Of course there are the tacks that most people will know ‘Everybody changing’ and ‘Somewhere only we know’ but some of the best tracks on the album are the lesser known ones. The song ‘We might as well be strangers’ really stand out; it is a track that builds up slow and ends in an almighty vocal permanences by Tom Chaplin(even better live). Talking of Tom Chaplin, his voice soars throughout. The album has a real maturity from a band who were then very young and new to the music scene and is a great indicator of what the band still had to come.

Best Song – Bedshaped

4) The Archandroid – Janelle Moane

A few years ago I would have been surprised as anyone to see this on my list, but times have changed. I think I have posted before how I first got to know about Janelle Moane, through her musical appearance on Stargate Universe so I won’t dwell on that. I absolutely love the whole sci-fi (look at that metropolis inspired cover) theme of the album, there is a concept and a story to Archandrioid something very few albums do. I love Janelle’s voice, it is full of funk and rock and roll, yet it has truth to it that allows a story to be told. It is as if she is both singer and a voice actor on it. But it is a work of music and so it can’t be all story, there is some amazing song on this 18 track album! I can’t wait for the her next work, for the continuation of the story as much as the music itself.

Best song – Cold war

3) Origin of symmetry – Muse

There are few bands that are as fun as Muse. Origin of symmetry their second album is not only fun but has an epic quality to it. The great thing about it, is that there is not one weak song on the whole thing. Origin’s is arguable what helped Muse break into the mainstream and you can hear why after the first song. You can’t go wrong with most tracks, but the song ‘Plug in baby’ and ‘Citizen erased’ are obvious highlights. Although there is real joy when you play the album from track one to eleven. This is something that I found out in one of the best ways imaginable, as I saw muse play live their special 10th anniversary show of the ‘origin of symmetry’ album at Leeds festival. It was one of the most special gigs I have ever seen. They played every track in order and it really struck home to me, what a special band/album this is.

Best Song- Bliss

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2) Under the iron Sea – Keane

Yes it is Keane’s second album on the list! After their multi million début album, Keane really needed to come back with their second attempt with something very, very good. I believe that they did this with a proper ‘classic’ album. Keane were known for being a trio that never used guitars (not the case now), but that didn’t stop them from making a keyboard distorted to the point in almost sounds like a guitar, a technique that is used throughout. This made sure that the album was much more up tempo to the last outing. Not only does the album have some of the more rockier songs that Keane have done, but it also has some great emotional song which ‘Hopes and Fears’ had in the bucket load. It is the perfect blend of Keane’s two sides and it really is the best album that Keane have ever done.

Best song – Crystal Ball

1) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Arcade fire are a great band, they have over 100 members in their band (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and they make some sweet, sweet music. Arcade fire have had two, ‘fine’ previous album but the Suburbs (the 3rd) was the first album that just clicked. It is slightly more polished album, yet still keeps the rawness of their music intact. However, I don’t think that this is only things that makes this album so much better than their previous attempts. I’m sure there is lots of different things that make the difference; I am just not musically talented enough to work them out .
You know I am not much of a dancer, in fact a bad dancer a very bad one, yet sometimes (not when anybody is about, I hope) I find myself doing a little dance; albeit with my head, to this album…. I like to think that this is good sign. Every track on the suburbs builds on the last, layers and layers (like each song) of music creates a deep thought process in the listener. I like an album that gets me to think. This is another band that when you hear the music being played live you immediately feel closer to each song and to the band. It is not number one on my list for nothing, you should check it out. Actually if you haven’t already check out all the albums…

The best song – Them all, but Deep Blue

Song of the month – May 2012

To celebrate Keane scoring their 5th UK number 1 album, in a row I give to you the best song from the newest album strangeland. 

You can catch my review of the album in my last post.

Honestly, I am working on some new blogs; so hopefully this blog can get back on track (even though it seems to be getting more views in my absence, than ever before).

 

Keane’s Strangeland – Review

Strangeland is the 4th album by Keane, it is out the on 7th of May in the UK; this review is based on Deluxe edition which contains 4 extra songs.  

I have to admit I have been a massive Keane fan for a while now, Keane have always appealed to me as a group, catchy songs, a huge voice and a piano as a lead instrument! But I’ve tried to as unbiased as I can…. I promise.

It has been 4 years since the last full album from the piano-rock group Keane. In the last outing the band shifted to a more electrical pop genre, a move which was both praised and vilified in equal measure. However, with Strangeland they have moved back to a more familiar territory which made their first 9x platinum album Hopes and Fears such a success.

While the sound of Strangeland is much closer to Hopes and Fears than to Perfect Symmetry, the mood of the album is not. Hopes and Fears could be called a grumpy album, a great album but with a downbeat theme. In Strangeland songs like Sovereign Light Cafe, On the Road and You are Young  are positively upbeat. There’s still a great selections of songs about, love and loss if that is your thing though.  Silenced by the Night is a song about falling out of love with someone. And it is lead single from the album and it easy to understand why, a soaring song that will immediately grab your attention and won’t let go; as lead single it does it job well.

Disconnected,is a song I heard many times well before the album came out, there is an early version of the song being played live on you tube and it is great song. But I believe that this song has suffered in years from those original performance, from a little too much from too much studio treatment. It is not the only misfire on the album The Starting Line never seems to live up the potential that song sets it self early on in the track.

In Strangeland there is the perfect mix of songs that are built to be played at huge festivals, or arena tours, and song perfect for a small acoustic gigs at the local pub. One of my favourite of the album is Sovereign Light Cafe; it is a coming of age song, the song’s vivid imagery, focuses  your mind on the childhoods of the members of Keane; yet it has an eerily familiarity to everybody’s childhood, its tune is filled with beauty of growing up.  Black Rain, has a radiohead esque attitude with an experimental song, which is strangely addictive to listen to. This song more than the rest just shows how much Keane have left to show the world, and a couple more song in this like would have been appreciated.  Sea Fog , Neon River and Watch How You Go, are all excellent songs that I could listen (will) for hours and are what you expect from Keane, catchy, loud and graceful.

From the deluxe version you get 4 more new songs, and all these songs are great tunes that effortlessly fit in to the Keane catalogue, they don’t try to be too different  but do the things Keane are known to do well. The boys is the highlight from deluxe version, it almost has Kaiser Chiefs style to it (something I’d have thought to have ever describe Keane being like before). While this album isn’t a game changer for the band, it does build on the already strong foundation the band has made before it. I would recommend the album, to Keane and non Keane fans alike.

8.5/10 – Standard – 9/10 Deluxe

Disconnected

Probably just another lazy post, but this is the new music video for one of Keane’s new song from the new album, ‘strangeland’ that comes out 7th of May. It is great song, and very odd video but one of the best Keane vids out there. give it a watch.

Song of the month March 2012

I thought I’d better get back in the blogging habit. So this month ‘song of the month’ is the newest Keane single ‘Silenced by the night’ it is a great song and a great taster of the new album that comes out at the start of May. So without further ado here it is…

 

 

What do you think? Comment below…