The tour is billed as The Kooks Inside In / Inside Out 15th Anniversary tour so understandably we get to reacquaint ourselves with most of the tracks from the bands` debut album which has now sold over two million copies. I read that most of the album was written about Katie Melua who vocalist Luke Pritchard dated while at the British performing arts and technology school in Croydon. The band whose core is now Luke Pritchard (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Hugh Harris ( lead guitar, backing vocals) and Alexis Nunez (drums, percussion) have a new album `10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark`  out in July so there may well be a further tour later in the year. The guys reach Birmingham this evening for the first of two shows at about a third of the way through this eighteen date trek around the UK and Ireland.

First up tonight are Scottish indie rockers The Snuts who share a pretty feisty half hour set that includes tracks mostly from their debut album W.L. released last year. `Always` opens the set and it`s a pretty funky foot tapper and really highlights the captivating slight inflection in Jack Cochrane`s vocal delivery. `Juan Belmonte` has a more sleazy vibe, while `Elephants` has an enthralling bass line which drives it on. `All Your Friends` is quite noisy and abrasive but has the audience singing along. `Don`t Forget It (Punk) and `Somebody Loves You` are aired before we hear the band`s new single `Burn The Empire` which is a thumper. This short set closes with their debut single `Glasgow ` before they exit the stage, leaving us suitably warmed up for the main event. A good choice of support I have to say.

There`s very little fuss as Luke arrives on stage and leads the faithful through the acoustic `Seaside` which has everyone singing along. The rest of the band join in and the next half dozen numbers are from ` Inside In / Inside Out` with the pick being the blistering `See The World`, the mesmeric `Ooh La` and the stunning `She Moves In Her Own Way` where everybody joined in and had cameras filming away. A track that has to be one of the most melodic and enjoyable tunes ever written in my opinion.

`Bad Habit` had this sold out crowd singing along with the whoa whoa s before the guys shared a track from the forthcoming album with `Connection` a more mature and quite reflective offering.

The pace slows a little with `Shine On` and `I Want You` before the dreamy but oddly titled `Jackie Big Tits` is shared. The pick of the home straight for me is `Always Where I Need To Be` and `Do You Wanna` before the show closes with the dreamlike `Junk Of The Heart (Happy)`.

It`s not too long before the guys return for a three song encore which includes the quite funky then scorching `Matchbox`,  misty eyed `No Pressure` and `Naïve` which sends the place into a frenzy of waving arms and with the majority of this throng singing and shouting the lyrics back at the band.

Both nights in Birmingham are sold out as is most if not all of the dates on this tour but some festival dates are pencilled in for the summer months so if you haven`t been able to source a ticket, all is not lost. It`s a bit of a shock to realise that this band put out their first album just over fifteen years ago but listening to the back catalogue tonight and what i`ve heard of the forthcoming album, there`s plenty to look forward to from The Kooks camp.

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