Keane Are Somewhere Only We Know At BRITs Week 24 For War Child

Ahead of the twentieth anniversary tour of their 2004 debut record taking in sold out arenas in Bournemouth, Cardiff and two nights at London’s O2 Arena, Keane executed an engaging display of piano led pop mastery. It’s easy to forget how big the soft pop rock of the noughties was. Led by Travis and Coldplay and continued on by bands like Snow Patrol and The Feeling. Tom Chaplin-led Keane, were right in the centre of this huge popular music movements of the 2000’s. Their album Hopes And Fears has been certified 9x Platinum, won a Brit Award for Best Album and at the end of the decade, was 9th in the list of the best selling albums of the noughties.

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024 (Patrick Gunning)
Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024 (Patrick Gunning)

Their music was ubiquitous. Used in countless episodes of TV sitcoms and dramas like One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C. and Scrubs and of course who can forget that cover by Lily Allen for a well known department store’s Christmas advert.

So to see this long standing, multi-million selling group in a smaller space than they’re used to is special. BRITs Week For War Child 2024 gives fans the opportunity to see artists across the musical spectrum perform unique shows in intimate venues in the lead up to the BRIT Awards while raising both money and awareness for War Child, a charity focussed on supporting children living through the worst imaginable of circumstances: war.

“When we haven’t toured in a while, it’s strange coming from the school run and chucking nappies in a bin, to acting like a prat on stage and engaging with you,”Chaplin says to the room. It’s probably something that the audience of West London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire can relate to given it seems like the majority of the crowd have grown up with them and are at a similar time of their lives. It’s their first time on stage in the UK since July 2022 but the quartet seemed to shrug off any ring rust quickly and started the show with Can’t Stop Now and Bend & Break, from their seminal debut record. The crowd sang along joyfully to the chorus “If only I don’t bend and break, I’ll meet you on the other side, I’ll meet you in the light.”

Not having a standing guitarist in their ranks is what set Keane apart from their contemporaries, but being a piano-led band didn’t mean they were a one trick pony. Spiralling shifts gears as the electric synth sounds from Tim Rice-Oxley get the audience bouncing. Fans had come from Brazil, Peru and Ecuador to see the East Sussex foursome at this iconic London venue, and were treated to a couple of exclusives. The first of which was Your Eyes Open, the first live airing of the tune by the band since 2013 and also the first time since bassist Jesse Quin joined the band that it was performed non-acoustically.

Is It Any Wonder? and Nothing In My Way from 2006’s Under The Iron Sea follow and whilst there were no elaborate solos or big stage production, they sounded sharp with Tom’s voice carrying as strongly as it does on the record. The more intimate moments were embraced by the phone torch wielding crowd such as during Bedshaped, where Chaplin held the mic stand to the crowd as they sang “what do I know” gloriously.

The band were eternally grateful for the fans but also shone praise of War Child, the organiser of this event and who they’d had a relationship with for over 15 years. The group pointed out the importance of the cause especially in today’s climate and the patrons reciprocated.

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024 (Patrick Gunning)
Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024 (Patrick Gunning)

Singer Chaplin, covered a lot of ground on the stage in a patterned bomber jacket and eased into the high notes on the chorus of This Is The Last Time, raising his arms as he conducted the crowd to hit those notes with him whilst Richard Hughes on drums didn’t missed a beat, wearing a custom Peace and Love T shirt to commemorate tonight’s concert.

Tom, who’d been purely on vocals all evening, turned to a keyboard that had been wheeled out for the first time on A Bad Dream before the band turned to their two biggest hits: Everybody’s Changing and Somewhere Only We Know. Every song was sung almost word for word by the night’s exuberant crowd, with the latter two ensuring the night came to a crescendo with fans out of their seats in the galleries.

And so I thought the night was done. Ending on the band’s two most famous songs a little over an hour after it started. But I was wrong! Tom and Tim, came back to the stage just after I’d put my coat on and began their encore with A Night’s Sky – a song they’d originally released on behalf of War Child in 2007 and the first time they’d played it live since that same year, something they said they’d only decided to perform at 2 O’ clock that afternoon and joked with an audience member that they may need to get the lyrics up on their phone! Another unique moment bought about by this charitable event.

Richard and Jesse then returned to the stage do perform three more tracks – Crystal Ball and two from 2012 album Strangeland; Neon River before finishing with Sovereign Light Cafe which ended the night on a superb high.

Yes nostalgia played a part in this special event, but for a band 20 years into their career to sound as clear as they did on the record laid down all those years ago is a testament to them, and to use their adoration to raise money for such a worthy cause can only be a good thing.

  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024
  • Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week For War Child 2024

BRITs Week 24 For War Child continues in the run to to The BRIT Awards at London’s The O2 on 2nd March along with a super-special Hebden Bridge show from this year’s baroque-rock darlings The Last Dinner Party on 4th March. The remaining shows are:

FEBRUARY
26th – AURORA – Lafayette, London
27th – Gabriels – Ronnie Scott’s, London
28th – Sleaford Mods – Scala, London

MARCH
1st – CMAT – Bush Hall, London
1st – Venbee – Omeara, London
4th – The Last Dinner Party – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge

Live review of Keane at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 20th February 2024 by Chris Lambert. Photography by Patrick Gunning.

Ash Hold A Shining Light At BRITs Week 24 For War Child

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