Photo Credit James Edmond
The iconic venue in the heart of Edinburgh sitting in the shadow of the historic Edinburgh castle, the scene was set for the welcome return of Keane to the city, back on the road after taking a seven year touring break. They’re back, and so are their fans, queuing up early to get in to see their idols perform songs from their new album “Cause and Effect” and hoping to hear their hits.
First up was Marie White with her band from East Sussex, the five-piece band fronted with Marie on acoustic guitar. A short and powerful performance, playing in front of a three quarters full Usher Hall, with fans of Keane taking their places helped with the atmosphere. Marie interacted with the audience, letting them know it was her birthday and it was all downhill from here and only wanted photographs from the side from now on, so it didn’t show her double chin, she joked. Marie is an artist full of passion in her music and delivered it with pride. Her band were tight, all having the time of their life’s playing in front of the Edinburgh audience. After the first few songs, she had turned a few heads in the crowd and everyone was enjoying listening to her music. As Marie left the stage smiling, she waved good bye to the crowd to a great reception.
As the lights went down, the atmosphere was intense, for the long-awaited return of Keane. The band formed in East Sussex in 1995 are back after taking a break in 2014. The moment has arrived as Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes and Jesse Quin take to the stage to a hero’s welcome. Tom Chaplin, smiling to the audience at the front you could see in his eyes his excitement and was ready to deliver a set to match. Opening with the show with the intense atmospheric “You’re Not Home” from the latest album “Cause and Effect”, a building song that grows with power before the passion of Tom Chaplin kicks in, haunting and drifting, with strong and powerful lyrics was a perfect start to the show. The audience absorbing the words and digesting them as though there the final words they would hear. The audience were in full voice during the opening new songs, before the band delved into their archive with the stunning “Bend and Break”, with Tom taking in every inch of the stage during the performance. Delighting the fans with his powerful vocals, the band delighted the fans with a strong opening set with “Silenced by the Night”, “Phases”, “Put on the Radio” before they took the roof of the iconic venue with “Everybody’s Changing”. With a huge screen as a backdrop, produced strong colour and images that transformed the Edinburgh venue and made the show a magical experience. The band looked in the right place performing, not just the hits from their previous albums but showing that the new album “Cause and Effect”, is just as strong but delivering a mature version of the band. Highlights from the set were “Perfect Symmetry”, “Love Too Much”, “Bedshaped” these stand out songs, not including the fans favourites “This is the last time” & “Somewhere only We Know” , had the audience dancing and singing along. After “Somewhere only we know”, Tom and the band left the stage, smiles all round as they left, hinting what everyone already knew, they weren’t finished.
This was the perfect time for the band and the audience to take some time to catch their breath, and process the experience of a band who are back better than ever. After some encouragement from the audience chanting the bands name, Tom and the boys emerged onto the stage, giving thanks and nodding to the crowd. They opened their encore with “I need your love” from the new album “Cause and Effect”, a powerful song, this was followed by “You are young”, “Crystal Ball” before ending the show with “Sovereign Light Café” from “Strangeland” album. The band received a standing ovation from the Edinburgh audience.
This was a night that saw Keane take their pride and place back on top, with over a two-hour set, promoting their latest album, with stunning live versions, and delighting their fans with songs from all of their albums to date. The band are back, if you have never seen them live in concert, try and catch them at a venue near you, you will not be disappointed, Keane are a band who have delivered the perfect musical performance.
Review and Photography by James Edmond