REVIEW: Keane at Brighton Centre

Keane performed at the Brighton Centre last night.Photo:Jon Stone.
Keane performed at the Brighton Centre last night.Photo:Jon Stone.

Back in 2004, I had just got back from working in Orlando.

I had no idea what was going on in the British music scene. I'd spent the last 12 months listening to everything that was popular Stateside at the time - which was definitely more Britney and Usher, than Brit pop/rock.

But when my dad - a man of impeccable musical taste - told me 'I must' listen to the latest big thing, who also just happened to come from Sussex, I did as I was told.

The minute I heard Keane's debut album Hopes and Fears, I was hooked.

For the next few years I purchased every album, and enjoyed blasting out the anthemic tunes in my car.

And then, as quickly as they arrived, they seemed to vanish from the limelight.

That was until earlier this year when I saw they were back, and playing at the Brighton Centre.

I hope it doesn't sound mean to say, but I wasn't sure if their sound would have stood the test of time. But on the basis of how much I loved the older stuff, I secured my tickets to watch them last night.

I really should have had a little more faith. The tracks from their new album Cause and Effect are epic, perhaps even better than their stuff from the early days, with a really mature sound.

I Need Your Love was my absolute favourite. Hauntingly beautiful, it was almost ethereal and other-worldly.

Strange Room was another highlight. We were told it was the song that really brought the band back together and made them feel like they could release another record.

Also really worthy of note was The Way I Feel, which became the debut single from their fifth studio album.

But that's not to say the older stuff wasn't amazing, too.

Bend and Break was the first of their 'classics' to be played, coming third on the set list. The packed to the rafters crowd was instantly on its feet, and pretty much stayed there for the whole show.

Interestingly, the whole gig was a seated affair. Which seemed a strange decision, given the audience's clear desire to dance.

And no prizes for guessing that the other massive crowd-pleasers included Everything Changes, Spiralling, Bedshapped and Somewhere Only We Know, which closed the main part of the show.

The guys then came back for a generous and much-appreciated four-song encore, finally ending the night on Sovereign Lights Cafe.

Towards the end of the gig, lead singer Tom Chaplin revealed he had a cold, which he claimed was making singing difficult. But if that was the case, I couldn't tell. What, to me, really stood out about this show was the quality of the sound, which showed off his incredible voice. My dad put it perfectly when he declared: 'he's got a great set of pipes on him'!

They ended up playing for 135 minutes. And I can't fault a single one of them.

I've never seen a Brighton crowd more animated. And I was right up there with them, singing and dancing along.

Tom said the band hoped they'd be back in town sooner rather than later. I hope so, too.