Arriving at Manchester O2 Apollo I was curious as to how the gig was going to play out as I’ve rarely been able to fully immerse myself into a gig where the audience is seated. However that soon changed, much to Keane’s surprise as the emotional and beautiful opening song ‘You’re Not Home’ from the new album Cause and Effect drew to a close, everybody rose to their feet and threw their hands in the air for the classic ‘Bend and Break’. The crowd was alive with nostalgia, passionately belting out the lyrics as I looked across the audience to see whole families in tears and hugging each other. It’s safe to say that Keane really does hold the key to a lot of our hearts and memories. 

I was amazed by the energy of the band throughout the two hour set with 24 songs in total and, admittedly, I was out of breath and quickly losing my voice from dancing and belting the songs with my Mother who was equally loving life. Lead singer Tom Chaplin, who was elated by the enthusiasm in the audience, replied to the many hecklers that “We have a lot to live up to playing in Manchester, what an audience”. Having not missed a single note as he managed to sing angelically throughout the performance, Chaplin’s range is remains extremely impressive—in the style of a true artist, he sounded even better live. It was humbling to remember that despite their new album making it to the top ten alongside The Gallagher’s, Keane and all its members remain humble and not in the slightest bit arrogant. 

The heckling women who were fan-girling over multi-instrumentalist Tim Rice-Oxley, who moved towards the front of the stage, seemed to have forgotten that the new album centred around Rice-Oxley’s marital breakdown as they were already designing wedding dresses in their heads as I heard them shout “I’ll have ‘im” with the local Manchester accent. 

The crowd clearly didn’t want the night to end and, after a rising chant of ‘Keane Keane Keane’, the band emerged to leave us with a three-song rousing encore of ‘I Need Your Love’, ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Sovereign Light Café’. 

After performing an acoustic set on the metro through Manchester city centre earlier that day (see below)—which I happily watched from the comfort of my bed—Keane remained bright and energised as they created a memorable night of nostalgia and introduced audiences to a new path for the band. ON a selfish not, I am very happy that I can tick seeing Keane perform live from my bucket list, but here’s hoping that they’ll continue to blow us away for years to come. 

By Amy Clarke.

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