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Review & Photos: British indie rock invades sold out Newport with The Kooks, The Vaccines





MARCH 2, 2024

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

The Kooks rocked last night with a slew of upbeat British pop and indie alternative songs from their six album catalogue. With twenty years under their belt, the band certainly knows how to energize an audience. 


The show entertained fans throughout—from when the band took it back to their more straightforward acoustic rock of 2006 to their more danceable electronic feel of today. It’s tough to put a finger on one particular genre to describe the band—sometimes Arctic Monkeys, sometimes The 1975, but still all their very own—either way, they brought the party. 


Speaking of party, vocalist Luke Pritchard was celebrating his 39th birthday and stole the show with his gyrating hip thrusts, up and down twists, jumps and even a quick booty shake. 


Halfway through the lengthy set, the crowd followed through with a catchy call-and-response during “Bad Habit.” The Kooks’ latest album 10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark was released in 2022.  


Earlier in the evening fellow UKers The Vaccines shook the venue with a confident, ambitious performance—although vocalist Justin Hayward-Young mentioned he was loosing his voice and ended the set after 45-minutes. 


At times the band made it feel like the ‘80s, as if the film Sixteen Candles was just released. One could compare the band to The Killers, The Strokes and She Wants Revenge. A phenomenal set with the band’s trademark quirky memorable choruses. 


Opening the show was Daisy The Great, led by Kelley Dugan and Mina Walker. The duo was backed by a full band that made their set stand out with an ambush of building instruments. Comparable to Beach House. Dugan and Walker interacted with the crowd using humor. The set didn’t disappoint. 

See Tour Dates Here


THE KOOKS (click photos to enlarge)

THE VACCINES (click photos to enlarge)



DAISY THE GREAT (click photos to enlarge)