Music review: Keane, Kenwood House, London

3.00

 

All kinds of shenanigans go on in Hampstead Heath after dark, so it’s perhaps no surprise to find long-term critical whipping boys Keane performing in one of its more secluded corners.

But their show at Kenwood House’s Live By The Lake series could hardly be more wholesome. Wholesome, as a posh piano-based indie-rock band, is the cross that Keane have to bear; Noel Gallagher once famously dismissed them with the words, “Even if one of them started injecting heroin into his cock people would go ‘Yeah but your dad was a vicar, good night.’”

And yet, it is, for their overjoyed and obsessive fans, a good night, and even Noel would begrudgingly admit that Keane have some tunes. The set is heavy with songs from last year’s ‘Strangeland’, which found them aiming straight for the big-hitter ready-to-wear rock songs; ‘On The Road’ clearly channels the spirit of The Killers in Americana mode, with hints of cleaned-up and cucumber-sandwiched Springsteen.

It’s a shtick they’ve a knack for, but not always one that fits them well. The reason why Brandon Flowers could get away with a line like ‘Neon River’’s “Save your money pack your bag/We better run before we disappear” where Tom Chaplin cannot is that Brandon Flowers is a Las Vegas-born, whippet-thin hotty in feathered epaulettes, whereas Keane are… wholesome.

They’re on more convincing form on the simple Elton-sings-Radiohead piano ballad likes of ‘Nothing In My Way’ or ‘A Bad Dream’, a gently agonised track where they make their posh wimpy kid persona into something powerfully everyman: “I just feel too tired/To be fighting/Guess I'm not the fighting kind”.

Not everyone can be the fighting kind, after all, and there’s something refreshing about how little effort they make to hide what they are; after a weekend at Reading Festival watching various skinny, substanceless, tuneless young berks prance around in artfully chosen charity-shop blouses, to watch Chaplin sing his heart out in a denim shirt with a suede collar feels sort of revolutionary somehow. And if, when he tells a story about how pianist Tim Rice-Oxley got mugged for his phone in their pre-success days, only to have it handed back because it was too shit, I’m quietly praying for Jarvis Cocker to bound through the trees and invade the stage, there’s a place in this world for nice boys with nice songs. Just keep them away from the freeway.

Setlist:

'You Are Young'

'Bend And Break'

'On The Road'

'Strangers'

'Nothing In My Way'

'Silenced By The Night'

'Everybody's Changing'

'Neon River'

'A Bad Dream'

'Day Will Come'

'Spiralling'

'Is It Any Wonder?'

'Snowed Under'

'Hamburg Song'

'This Is The Last Time'

'Somewhere Only We Know'

'Bedshaped'

'Sea Fog'

'Sovereign Light Café'

'Crystal Ball'

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
    Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

    The end of an era across the continent

    It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
    Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

    'Focus on killing American people'

    Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
    Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

    Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

    The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
    Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

    Same-sex marriage

    As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
    The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

    The Mafia is going freelance

    Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable