June 7, 2009 - 8:30 pm
One of England’s hottest and most acclaimed young rock bands, Keane’s first middle eastern appearance at Byblos will feature all popular hits like “Everybody’s Changing”, “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Is It Any Wonder?”, along with songs from their praised new album “Perfect Symmetry”.
After over 8 million sales of « Hopes And Fears » (2004) and « Under The Iron Sea » (2006) combined, sold-out arena tours, plus anundeniable collection of hits including « Is It Any Wonder? », « Everybody’s Changing », « Crystal Ball » and « Somewhere Only We Know », one of Britain’s best-loved bands are about to surprise and thrill all over again.
Avowed believers in never retreading old ground, Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley and Richard Hughes return with « Perfect Symmetry », a technicolor explosion of stellar pop songs and pure, unashamed energy; the joy in which is audible in every finger-click and life-affirming chorus. As different as piano-helmed classic debut « Hopes And Fears » was from its darker cousin « Under The Iron Sea », « Perfect Symmetry » finds Keane at the height of their powers. Confirming Rice-Oxley’s position as one of the finest British songwriters to emerge this decade, the 11-song set sees Keane throwing any last vestiges of caution to the wind and simply letting the music take them where it will. The result is a thrillingly bold album that’s as pleasurable to listen to as it was to make.
Keane‘s uplifting, piano-driven pop/rock is created by vocalist Tom Chaplin, drummer Richard Hughes, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, three childhood friends from the small town of Battle in East Sussex, England.
Formed in 1997, Keane initially started out as a college-aged cover band. Guitarist Dominic Scott was part of this early incarnation, having previously played cover songs with Hughes and Rice-Oxley in a band named the Lotus Eaters. Keane toured the East Sussex circuit for several years while internalizing the epic sounds of their set list, which included songs by Oasis, U2, and Beatles. The schtick would only last so long, however, as the musicians soon desired to compose their own music. They began performing original material in 1998; later that same year, Chaplin left for Edinburgh University to study art history. The move proved to be brief, as he returned to London in 1999 and doubled his efforts with Keane.
Buoyed by Chaplin‘s soaring croon and Rice-Oxley‘s inventive keyboard effects, the group debuted in 2000 with the self-released single « Call Me What You Like ». « Wolf at the Door » followed one year later, but the band still struggled to find its momentum as Scott left the lineup in July, citing a desire to continue his studies at the London School of Economics.
Keane‘s big break ultimately arrived in December 2002, when Fierce Panda Records representative Simon Williams (who had helped discover Coldplay several years prior) was summoned by a friend to attend a Keane gig in London. Williams was impressed with the band’s performance and offered to issue Keane‘s next single, « Everybody’s Changing », on the spot. The limited-edition release became a success on U.K. radio and attracted attention from major record labels, several of whom began to swarm around the pop/rock trio.
Keane signed with Island Records in 2003 and released « This Is the Last Time », the band’s final single for the Fierce Panda label, before the year was up. The debut album « Hopes and Fears » then arrived in May 2004, hitting the top of the U.K. album charts during its first week of release and beating out Morrissey’s « You Are the Quarry ».
The single « Somewhere Only We Know » became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and Keane received two Brit Awards (for Best Breakthrough Act and Best Album 2005) while also earning a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. The album went on to become the second highest-selling record of the year in the U.K., barely losing out to the Scissor Sisters’ debut.
Keane opened several shows during U2’s 2005 world tour while enjoying the success of their Live Recordings 2004 EP. When it came time to return to the recording studio, the band once again enlisted producer Andy Green and fashioned a dark, thought-provoking record titled « Under the Iron Sea ». Arriving in 2006, it debuted at number four on the Billboard Top 200 during its first week of release; the album also debuted atop the U.K. charts and spun off the band’s most successful single to date, « Is It Any Wonder? ».
Keane returned in 2008 with a slightly retooled sound — including the presence of electric guitar, musical saw, and synthesizer — for the band’s third album, « Perfect Symmetry » with hits like « Spiralling », « The Lovers are Losing » or « Perfect Symmetry ».
The album has clear 80s influences, and is compared in 4 magazines to both David Bowie’s Scary Monsters and the Dandy Wharhol’s Welcome to the Monkey House.