This is the First Time: Keane at the Burton Cummings Theatre

Chaplin Close Up

All right, I admit it. I like Keane. Do I love Keane? Not really. I suppose it’s actually been quite some time since I last really listened to them. When Hopes and Fears came out and I first heard them on the radio while living in the East Midlands, I thought they were a nice, gentle sort of band, and perhaps they will forever be sentimentally linked to that particularly summer in England. Then they released Under the Iron Sea while I was living in Cardiff, and I remember being a bit surprised at the turn to a fuller sound of synths, and dare I say, an occasionally rockier tempo. I appreciated Tim Rice-Oxley’s frustrated sentiments on Is It Any Wonder and I still very much enjoy Atlantic and Hamburg Song (the latter of which revealed that singer, Tom Chaplin, wasn’t exactly as gentle and innocent as he looked and was slowly destroying the band). But I was definitely drifting from the band, especially since there were always more musical discoveries to be made, which were far more interesting. I grew away from Keane so much that when they released Perfect Symmetry last year, I didn’t take much notice. However, then I heard Spiralling, and I thought it was definitely another considerable step away from Hopes and Fears, and I also happened to think it was a lovely pop song. The rest of the album, sadly, didn’t quite live up to Spiralling – in fact, a lot of it seemed like back-pedalling. Thus, my relationship to Keane seems to be punctuated by pleasant surprise and tepid disappointment, but I still thought it would be worth seeing them live when they finally made an appearance in Winnipeg. And, admittedly, there’s nothing groundbreaking about Keane’s music, live or otherwise, but I was once again pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had and how much Chaplin seems to have grown into his frontman role.

I endured the abysmal teenybop band, Lights, who opened for Keane, only because I thought I could stay up front as I did with the Franz Ferdinand gamble. It failed miserably this time. The security guards were being particularly protective of the boys from Sussex (piano music may just make people lose their cookies), so it took quite some time before I could wheedle my way in front of a floor amp (I had a chuckle about the fact the roadies had stuck masking tape along the edges of the amp and a sign that said “Stay Inside”). The show began with Chaplin on guitar (a new development as of the last record) as they blew through The Lovers Are Losing for their opening track. It quickly became apparent that the band was genuinely shocked that this many people knew their music in an ostensibly god-forsaken corner of the world like Winnipeg. And that the theatre was packed for their first show here. Chaplin thanked the audience over and over again, and at one point, Rice-Oxley looked like he was going to cry. In turn, I discovered that Chaplin doesn’t look quite as much like a lollipop head in person (nor as much like a hybrid of an eight-year-old’s head spliced onto a grown man’s body as I thought he would). He likes dramatic gestures a lot, but they’re kind of endearing, and I also quite like watching Rice-Oxley lose himself in his playing, his leg pumping furiously.

Chaplin Guitar

They then played Everbody’s Changing and Bend and Break from their debut and A Bad Dream from Under the Iron Sea 9which featured Chaplin on a keyboard opposite to Rice-Oxley) before heading into newer territory again with You Haven’t Told Me Anything. Before things could get too slow, I was glad that they went into This Is The Last Time (which inexplicably was my favourite song from their first album) and Spiralling. Then the rest of the band exited the stage to leave Chaplin alone with an acoustic guitar to play Playing Along – it was a brave move and it worked well enough. The slow pace continued with Try Again and You Don’t See Me (the latter of which Chaplin deemed the most beautiful song Keane had ever written and dedicated to the audience). The tempo briefly increased for Is It Any Wonder before developing into a rather passionate performance of Perfect Symmetry. Strangely enough, Chaplin seemed to think Canada was quite environmentally-friendly and thus could better appreciate the sentiments of the song. It was the track that brought Chaplin the furthest off the stage – he actually stepped with his neon pink, yellow and gold sneakers onto the amp directly in front of me (he dutifully stayed inside the tape lines, mind). The set proper wrapped up with crowd favourites Somewhere Only We Know and Crystal Ball. During Somewhere Only We Know, Chaplin turned the vocals over to the crowd, and fortunately, a very respectable amount of people were able to sing along.

Rice Oxley

In a way, I enjoyed the low-impact exercise of the show – there was no breathless jumping or smashing of appendages. Having said that, it still was nowhere near as sedate as I would have expected a Keane show to be. There was very much a palpable energy in the theatre, which was consistently stoked by Chaplin’s cajoling gestures and requests to keep the cheers going. There was plenty of banter from Chaplin as he conversed with the crowd, including the typical disbelief at Winnipeg winter weather (he found it difficult to believe that it could go down to -52 Celsius here – apparently a roadie had recorded such a fact on a wall backstage). At one point, someone screamed out the ridiculously obvious point that Chaplin had an accent, and yet another added “It’s sexy.” I, for one, hardly think of Chaplin as sexy, and his reply was, “That’s nice because people back at home make fun of my accent.” I can only imagine. However, the teenage girls next to me definitely attempted to pull Chaplin off the stage by his sweaty hand, and I’m sure he appreciated it. I’ve also never seen someone throw out so many guitar picks into the crowd.

The encore thankfully included Atlantic, and oddly enough, I wasn’t surprised when they whipped out their version of Under Pressure (mainly because I was wracking my brain for what other high-energy pieces the band had). The encore ended with the interesting choice of Bedshaped off the first album; the show went gently into the night. Keane puts on a highly entertaining pop show, and as I’ve usually found with British bands playing Winnipeg, they were hugely appreciative of the audience’s enthusiasm and mere presence. It wasn’t the most exciting, nor the most memorable of the gigs I’ve been to, but it left me feeling happy. And sometimes that’s all you need.

This Is The Last Time – Keane

Atlantic – Keane


1 Response to “This is the First Time: Keane at the Burton Cummings Theatre”

  1. May 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm


    I made a remix of Keane’s song ‘My Shadow’. Let me know what you think, or if you can write a blog post about it :)

    Keane – My Shadow (Danny Dance Remix)

    -Danny Dance

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Gigs Attended

Arcade Fire w/ Bell Orchestre + Wolf Parade (2005)

Arctic Monkeys w/ Reverend and the Makers (2007)

Austra w/ Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy (2011)

Big Audio Dynamite (2011)

Billy Bragg w/ Ron Hawkins (2009)

Billy Idol w/ Bif Naked (2005)

Bloc Party w/ Hot Hot Heat (2009)

Buzzcocks w/ The Dollyrots (2010)

Damo Suzuki (2012)

David Bowie w/ The Polyphonic Spree (2004)

Diamond Rings w/ PS I Love You + The Cannon Bros. (2011)

Diamond Rings w/ Gold & Youth (2012)

Dragonette w/ Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees (2009)

Frank Turner w/ The Cavaliers (2010)

Frank Turner w/ Into It Over It + Andrew Jackson Jihad (2011)

Franz Ferdinand w/ Think About Life (2009)

Gang of Four w/ Hollerado (2011)

Good Shoes w/ The Moths + The Envelopes (2007)

Hot Hot Heat w/ The Futureheads + Louis XIV (2005)

IAMX w/ closethuman (2007)

IAMX w/ Coma Soft + The Hourly Radio (2007)

Interpol (2007)

Janelle Monae w/ Roman GianArthur (2012)

Joel Plaskett Emergency w/ Frank Turner (2012)

Jonathan Richman (2011)

Keane w/ Lights (2009)

Lou Reed w/ Buke and Gass (2011)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Fear of Music (2007)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Bear Hands (2009)

Manic Street Preachers at Wanaja Festival (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Old Folks Home (2009)

Mother Mother w/ Whale Tooth (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Hannah Georgas (2012)

MSTRKRFT w/ Felix Cartal (2008)

Muse (2004)

Nine Inch Nails w/ Death From Above 1979 + Queens of the Stone Age (2005)

of Montreal w/ Janelle Monae (2010)

Owen Pallett w/ Little Scream (2010)

Patrick Wolf w/ Bishi (2007)

Prince (2011)

Pulp w/ Grace Jones, TV on the Radio, The Hives, The Horrors, Metronomy, Devotcka, Vintage Trouble (2011)

Rufus Wainwright w/ Teddy Thompson (2010)

Snow Patrol w/ Embrace (2005)

Snow Patrol w/ OK Go + Silversun Pickups (2007)

Sons and Daughters w/ Bodies of Water (2008)

Stars w/ Thurston Revival (2006)

Stars w/ The Details (2008)

Stars (2010)

Steven Severin (2010)

Stroszek (2007)

The Antlers w/ Haunter (2012)

The Flaming Lips w/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (2010)

The Jesus and Mary Chain w/ Nightbox (2012)

The Killers w/ Ambulance Ltd (2004)

The New Pornographers w/ Novillero (2008)

The New Pornographers w/ The Mountain Goats (2010)

The Ordinary Boys w/ Young Soul Rebels (2006)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart w/ Suun (2011)

The Rakes w/ The Young Knives (2006)

The Raveonettes w/ Black Acid (2008)

The Stills w/ Gentleman Reg (2009)

The Subways w/ The Mad Young Darlings (2006)

Tokyo Police Club w/ Smoosh + Attack in Black (2008)

TV on the Radio w/ The Dirty Projectors (2009)

Yann Tiersen w/ Breathe Owl Breathe (2011)

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The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave


So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun


Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head


Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away


Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners


Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away


You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender


I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding


You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black


Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side


Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb


Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape


Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning


My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it


Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love


We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's


Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south


Running on


As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different


LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell


Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are


You must let her go

She's not crying



Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times



Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone


Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't


So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need


The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest


Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know


No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more


All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids


Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome


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