Last night was my third time seeing the amazing Keane, and although the sound system wasnít up to par at the tiny Dublin Castle in Camden, the boys were up for the show and shone as brightly as humanly possible. Someone needs to bottle whatever frontman Tom Chaplin drank as a child, because he has one of the most amazing voices Iíve ever heard. Equally comfortable scraping the acoustic matting of the ceiling as bellowing forcefully, his vocal range ranks very high on the all-time scale. Bands without a bassist are becoming a dime a dozen, but you donít often hear of a band without a guitarist. Keane actually have neither a bassist nor guitarist, using a DAT for bass and relying on the stabbing piano riffs of Tim Rice-Oxley to carry the tunes. And carry they do, especially with the angelic voiced frontman lacing the tunes with his honeyed-throated tones.
The set doesnít change much, but when you have bonafide gems such as ìEverybodyís Changing,î ìBend And Break,î and ìShe Has No Time,î it doesnít faze me that Iím hearing the songs each time. Theyíre that amazing. Plus, the band only has one release. Iíll let them switch up the set when they have more singles under their belt. And everything always ends on an up note when they wrap up with ìEverytbodyî B-side ìBedshaped,î my favorite song of the year. It induces chills on each listen, which is fairly strong for a song that doesnít do much during the verse, but the build to the chorus is earth-shattering. Even on a night when the house sound wasnít up to par, the bandís sound was as mesmerizing as ever. And I don't think I was the only one impressed, as was evidenced by the presence of one of The Datsuns and UK radio legend Steve Lamacq. Mad props to band manager/lighting rigger Adam Tudhope. The man is a jack of all trades, for sure. And, to top it off, he has a very special band to work with. Makes technical difficulties like last nightís more bearable, Iíd think.