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Live Review: Keane – 20th February 2024 – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK

3 min read
We were at this weeks remarkable performance by Keane in support of Brits Week and War Child. Here is our full review....

Tuesday night, legendary piano-rock band Keane took to the stage at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in aid of BRITs Week 24 for War Child. Also mounting the stage was rising star Oscar Lang, his piano-orientated style sitting perfectly alongside the headliners. 

Opening with a small hello and the pounding drum intro of Don’t Stop Now, Keane begun. Immediately, the overpacked crowd did their best to bounce the rhythm of the classic song. “This is an anniversary year,” singer Tom Chaplin announced. The band’s seminal debut album Hopes & Fears turns twenty this year, and they weren’t afraid to play songs that had been left untouched for many years. Bend and Break followed, the chorus lifting to a roaring cry thanks to the audience’s voluntary participation. Silenced By The Night and We Might As Well Be Strangers had a similar affect, the latter especially as Tom reminded the fans in the front row, “apologise if this is rusty. It’s been a long time since we played this one, and I may forget the words.” Thankfully, he didn’t.

The tracks that followed delved deeply into the group’s eclectic back catalogue. Spiralling, from their fourth album Perfect Symmetry, startled the crowd with it’s opening ‘woo!’ and kept everyone moving until the very end. Your Eyes Open, Is It Any Wonder? and Disconnected blasted through with little breathing space in between, before Tom took a moment to talk about the War Child charity. Having worked with them many times before, and having a song on a War Child collection from back around 2005, their roots truly run deep with the charity, and it was lovely to hear such kind words being said about it. Asking the audience where they were made it quickly apparent that its was a diverse bunch. Brazil, London, and beyond. The songs brought everyone together in a magical way.

The surprise inclusion of Bedshaped so early in the set surprised many but still managed to bring a tear to their eyes. That and hit tune This Is Last The Time hit hard both emotionally and sonically. 

“Is everyone having a nice time” Tom asked to a resounding cheer. This was followed fittingly by arguably their second biggest hit Everybody’s Changing. “I’m gonna dedicate this next one to the people of Ecuador,” Tom began, “of Scotland, of London.” The band ended their main set spectacularly on Somewhere Only We Know, before coming back for the anticipated encore. For a few, it was surprising to see them come back out after playing their most famous song, but they had one more in the bag to send people off on a high. The wonderful Sovereign Light Cafe. 

Setlist:
Can’t Stop Now
Bend and Break
Silenced By The Night
We Might As Well Be Strangers
Spiralling
The Way I Feel
Your Eyes Open
Disconnected
Is It Any Wonder?
Nothing In My Way
Bedshaped
This Is The Last Time
A Bad Dream
Everybody’s Changing
Somewhere Only We Know

Encore:
The Night Sky
Neon River
Crystal Ball
Sovereign Light Cafe

Photo’s taken by www.patrickgunning.com.