My soul can rest easy... I have seen The Kooks perform “Sway” and it was amazing.
The hype started when 5 Gum announced that they will be bringing a band over for another ‘5 Gum Experience’. Asking on Facebook and Twitter who people thought it would be, many said The Black Keys, Alt-J, The Wombats etc… and obviously The Kooks. I was one of those begging for The Kooks. I knew I had to hear “Sway” live within my lifetime. It’s my jam. Something about that song and its lyrics makes me content. Once they confirmed that the band coming to South Africa will be The Kooks and the application for tickets opened, I was on it. But… being the lazy person I am, I only entered my 5 Gum barcode the day before the application closed. Just my luck, I didn't get tickets. What a sad face I was. Lucky for me, a dear friend , Shannon Nicole, offered me her tickets, she’s out of her mind! I’m forever grateful. Side note to those who bought tickets. I see you.
I was so excited on the days leading up to the event on Saturday April 20th. What was I going to wear? Fellow Kooks fan and I decided band t-shirts would work, we are cool like that. She - Crash Car Burn, me - Jim Morrison. When we arrived at Maitland Secondary School, I was pleased to see how smooth things went. Parking was done orderly, the line to get searched and ID’s checked before entering the bus went swiftly and then actually getting on the bus after a few minutes wait, gave me nothing to complain about. The bus trip was a quick one to Salt River Studios, the secret venue for the concert. A massive warehouse, used for films, adverts, etc, was the perfect venue to fit the thousands of Kooks fans. Upon arrival we were once more searched, asked for ID and got our tickets scanned. Oh* we were also given free chewing gum at the entrance.
Haasbroek was on when we got there. A DJ I hadn't known, but after Saturday I wouldn't mind hearing more of his music. I enjoyed it, it got me dancing and I like anyone who can make me dance. Next up was Beach Party. I like them, quite a bit! They are so much fun to watch and listen to. High fives to the lead singer. I found myself in the center of the crowd during their set. It was crazy hot and crazy Kooks fans were being fussy about their space. It’s understandable, but my friends and I rather left the tight squeezed crowd area. We weren't going to watch the headliners like a bunch of sardines. Up next during the changeover of bands was Haasbroek again. And then The December Streets. I like those dudes. Their set was tight and well done. They covered The Lumineers “Ho Hey” which was pretty cool, I dig that song.
In between all of this my friend and I managed to hit the porter-potties, what I believe was the longest bar ever and the food stalls. All really well done, YAY to 5 Gum. I was outside when I heard the first strumage (yes I think I just created a word) of guitar to The Kooks’ first song “Ooh La”. It was amazing to see how everyone ran, fast walked or shimmied their way to try and get as close as possible to the stage. My friend and I found other friends and stood on top of random block things around the bar area, to be able to get a clear view. Ah. I was so happy. An indie paradise I called it. They did my favourites such as Sway, How’d You Like That and crowd favourites such as Junk Of The Heart and Naïve. After making ladies swoon and men reconsider their sexuality, the guys came back to do a two song encore. Ending with Naïve and I’m so serious when I say the crowd went ape to it. My favourite image was that of ladies sitting on their boyfriend’s shoulders. Luke Pritchard, front man extraordinaire, and nice looking too, you sir… are quite suave. Once they ended everyone pretty much decided it was time to go. Everyone walked in an orderly fashion toward the buses. But the vulture inside of us all awakened and it became a zombie apocalypse to catch a bus. I loved it! I found it absolutely hilarious.
Visuals and sound, although a bit dodgy for the opening acts, gets thumbs up from me. Well done 5 Gum. I’m hooked; see you at the next 5 Gum Experience.