At Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in the early days of 2018, The Kooks reminded us all why they’re a centrepiece to the ever-adolescent Britpop compendium.
For so many of us, The Kooks were a staple of virtually any iTunes playlist we created in the mid 2000s. I vividly remember first discovering them on a friend’s Myspace and they became my first real exposure to the burgeoning Britpop/ indie scene at the time.
Their debut Inside In/Inside Out was released in the shadow of (on the same day as) the Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and they have drawn heavy comparisons to the band’s buzzsaw guitar, faint 1980s ska and thickly brandished accents ever since.
While the Monkeys might exude a little more grit and street cred, The Kooks have built a solid rep around their catchy, witty and polished pop sound; sharp melodies, jangly guitars and lyrics on love and heartbreak jibed to capture the epitome of a sweaty, youthful, messy-haired nonchalance.
After 12 years of producing some of the most unforgettable pop music, they’re still stealing hearts. The guys headed down under for the umpteenth time to tour with Falls Festival and play some sideshows. We got our sway on with them at the Hordern in Sydney.
Words and photos by Dani Hansen.