GT Music

Keane at De La Warr Pavilion

Homecoming gig kicks off world tour and new album

I say homecoming, but technically Keane aren’t actually from Bexhill-On-Sea in East Sussex, but from Battle, which is a few miles down the road (and these miles make all the difference, as some locals were quick to point out on Friday night).

Battle = amazing name for a town.

The De La Warr Pavilion, although a beautiful venue in a beautiful town, might not seem like the immediate choice to launch your first full tour in three years, yet demand for tickets was so high that a second night was quickly added. Both sold out in minutes.

So it was no surprise that their hardcore fanbase – some having travelled from all over the world – went understandably crazy for the quartet on their opening night. And yes, I’m one of those fans, who got just as excited.
I’ve actually been to more Keane gigs that I can remember and they never disappoint. And although this particular setlist included 21 songs, coming in at nearly two hours, I could still happily listen to them play all their albums in their entirety and it still not be enough.

This gig was pretty special for another reason – for the majority of people there it was their first chance to hear songs from new album Strangeland. Their first full-length offering since 2008’s Perfect Symmetry is absolutely brilliant – a full review to follow, natch – and it was fascinating to see the crowd taking these new songs in with an incredible attentiveness.

So while some might have been understandably subdued for the newer numbers (of which there were 10, so almost the complete album), I have no doubt that by the end of the tour they’ll be chanting along with these just like all the others. Speaking of which, of course it wasn’t just a showcase for Strangeland, and a number of anthemic hits made the list. While 2010’s Night Train EP was represented by just one song, every album was featured.

Personal standout moments included lead singer Tom Chaplin (still incredibly energetic and still filling a pair of skinny jeans extremely well) delivering the ‘Do you wanna be famous’ section of Spiralling with some intensity, and his fading into the shadows while his bandmates sang the break in Perfect Symmetry providing a genuine spine-tingling moment.

The single, Silenced By The Night, is out on 26 March but it’s not on iTunes yet, so you might as well just pre-order Strangeland.

Someone’s pretty much put the entire gig on YouTube, but here’s Perfect Symmetry:

And you can click on this link for tour details. Yes, of course I’m going again…

Words: Darren Scott

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