Review: Keane, Capital FM Arena, by George Solomon
ALL five of Keane's albums have shot straight to number one in the chart, so it's no surprise that, firstly, they know how to put on a show and secondly, that the crowd lapped up every second of their Capital FM Arena gig on Wednesday night.
Their trademark sound is perfectly suited to arenas, with their classic anthems like Somewhere Only We Know (the highlight of the night) booming out to all corners, and the varied set, covering plenty of their healthy back catalogue, hitting the right note.
Their latest album, Strangeland, despite going to number one, hasn't quite hit the critical heights of their previous efforts and when they ran through some of the tracks from it, things became a little subdued for all but the biggest fans.
But a string of their biggest singles towards the end had the crowd out of their seats singing along, likeable singer Tom Chaplin urging them into action.
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He is a fine front man and had the audience hooked when he shed the band for a solo number with his acoustic guitar.
He briefly reminisced between songs about their first big gig in Nottingham, at Rock City, when his voice went halfway through. That certainly didn't happen here, as he continued to hit the notes all night long.
The stage in the middle of the arena made for a great spectacle, and the lighting - often taken for granted at gigs - was of the highest order, perfectly matching each song.
Keane are a slick outfit and the sound couldn't have been tighter. If there could be one criticism, it's that they were almost too well rehearsed, with little deviation from the 'script'.
But that's a minor gripe on what was a fine night for all. You can't help but smile as they do their thing; uplifting, feelgood music, similar in tone to Elbow who'd rocked the same stage just two nights previously.
As they neared the end of their set, Chaplin said: "It's been an incredible pleasure. We wish we could stand up here forever and sing our songs."
So did we.