Keane Royal Albert Hall 28th September 2019

Alternatively titled “I’m not crying, you’re crying”.

My mum and I went to see Keane at Royal Albert Hall last Saturday, and it was possibly the best gig I have ever been to. Background: I’ve loved Keane since I first heard Somewhere Only We Know in 2004 when I was 16. I loved Keane back then when I was known as a greb (greebo, emo, goth, type thing) listening to Linkin Park. I loved them while I was seeing so many other artists – Alicia Keys, Green Day, Bon Jovi, Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, and while I was listening to the music my dad got me into – various Motown and 1960s-80s rock bands. I’ve loved them all the way through to present day when my playlist is mainly made up of Post Malone, French Montana, Giggs, Drake and whatever else I hear and love on Radio 1. Keane have been a constant – there’s only one album I don’t own, I love their sound, and I have been waiting for years for them to come back (after their seven year hiatus) so that I could see them live.

Add to that, this is the first gig I’ve been to since before my last cancer diagnosis and surgery, and maybe that explains why I spent most of this gig an emotional wreck – but in a good way.

So using the set list, it went something like:

You’re Not Home – The opening track for the new album, and when I heard it I thought it would be a great song to open the gig with – starting slow and ramping up. So far, so good.
Disconnected – Okay, welling up a bit now. Now I realise, with this song I’ve been listening to for years, that I’m actually there watching Keane. No way! It feels awesome. And the audience loves it. It’s like everyone’s been waiting for them to come back and we’re all friends, giving our old friend the warmest welcome back possible.
Bend And Break- One of my favourites, so, still crying a bit. Not loads, just a little wellup and a tear but I’ve only ever cried at one gig and that was when Bring Me The Horizon played Oh No.
Silenced By the Night – Okay, calmed down a bit now.
I’m Not Leaving – Love this one off the new one – Tom’s high notes are gorgeous.
Day Will Come
Put The Radio On – Tom prefaced this by saying Tim wrote it about shagging and then after they played it, realised Tim’s children were in the audience. Oops!
Everybody’s Changing – Everyone’s on their feet for this one, deffo a crowd pleaser.
Is It Any Wonder?
Strange Room – One I wasn’t so familiar with, from the new album, but I did know and enjoy all the songs they played.
Spiralling – Haven’t heard this one for ages, liking it.
Perfect Symmetry – Okay, bawling, lost the plot. This is one of my favourite songs ever, and I hadn’t heard it for ages because the album it’s on isn’t on my phone, so it isn’t in my heavy rotation. SO many feelings attached to this song, especially the lyrics “maybe you’ll find life is unkind and over so soon / there is no golden gate, there’s no heaven waiting for you”. I don’t know why. Caught of guard and singing and bawling, omg.
Try Again- Another of my favourites, you’re killing me. If they had played Sea Fog after this I would have been on the floor.
Stupid Things – Love the story in this song off the new album.
Nothing In My Way
Love Too Much
This Is The Last Time – Another favourite, and Tom said it sparked the beginning of Hopes and Fears when they knew they were onto something good, so now I love it even more.
Bedshaped – This used to be my favourite when I was sixteen.
The Way I Feel – My favourite off the new album – I’ve been singing it for about two weeks. I think everyone should listen to this song because it’s so relatable if you’re struggling emotionally or with your mental health – “and they say that you should move on, but you can’t even get your shoes on.” I remember not being able to get my shoes on literally after surgery, let alone having the physical or emotional energy to put them on or metaphorically move on from something difficult. “And it’s the voices in your head now, saying there’s something wrong about the way I feel.” Love it.
Somewhere Only We Know – Obviously everyone is singing and on their feet. Then they go off stage and I think it must be all over because how can they follow that up? But the lights don’t come on and everyone is still cheering and I’m sad it’s over until I realise it’s not. Like so many things, I suppose.
I Need Your Love – Another great one off the new album.
You Are Young – Tom gets everyone practising singing the “oh-oh-oh-ohhhhh” towards the end before it starts up, which is fun.
Crystal Ball – There are crystal balls – well, big white circles of light – dancing around the ceiling.
Sovereign Light Cafe – Last one, and one I had forgotten about even though it’s another favourite of mine. It reminds me of being in Jersey because I was there when it came out – in 2012, I think – and it’s such a happy seaside song, and a wonderful way to end a gig I never ever wanted to end.

I can’t remember where it came – maybe two thirds of the way through – but they also played Hamburg Song at the request of an audience member. They hadn’t played it for ages and Tom was asking Tim if he could remember the chords, and when was he supposed to come in and start singing. Tom looked at Tim in anticipation to see if he remembered the piano solo halfway through and the crowd cheered when he did, and Tom gave a cheeky “well done, Richard” to the drummer when he remembered tap his cymbal (he tapped it a handful of times in total – he didn’t have much to remember!), and it was very funny and wonderful. In fact, here’s a video – not taken by me – of Hamburg Song. 

I left with that feeling in my stomach I often get after a gig – some sort of full feeling, like butterflies not quite flapping but hovering and getting ready to lurch. Adrenaline, I suppose. The venue was really nice, the band was fantastic, and the audience vibes were like no other. Absolutely magical. <3