The Kooks cut two ways at House of Blues

If fans who turned out for the Kooks’ sold-out show at the House of Blues weren’t sure whether the British indie-rock band’s recent turn toward a more danceable sound was an accident, drummer Alexis Nunez’s T-shirt said it all: “Real men love disco.”

The stark difference between the group’s older material and songs from its new record, Listen, meant that concertgoers were treated to two shows in one. At times, tracks like 2008’s simple, bouncy pop-rock single “Always Where I Need To Be” sat awkwardly on the evening’s setlist alongside rich, groovy new tunes like “Forgive & Forget,” but frontman Luke Pritchard somehow managed to keep everything running smoothly with a stage presence that fit the group’s older, rock-oriented style and newer, dance-based feel.

The Kooks’ set leaned heavily on Listen, with songs like the excellent “Around Town,” but also featured enough material from its back catalog to keep long-time fans happy, including “Seaside” (played as a solo acoustic song by Pritchard) and the set-ending “Naïve,” from its 2006 debut album Inside In/Inside Out. Most fans seemed particularly enthusiastic about the older songs…but maybe only because the jam-packed floor didn’t give them a lot of room to dance.

  • Concert: The Kooks
  • Venue: House of Blues
  • Date: September 26, 2014
  • Seats: Balcony

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