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The V Festival interview: Keane

16 August 2004

Keane have emerged as one of many success stories from the summer season, drawing huge crowds of fans, from screaming teenage girls to their dewy-eyed dads. VF tries to find out why.

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Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

This summer will, for many, be remembered as The Summer of Keane. When three boys from Battle leapt into the mainstream with cautious bravado and beautiful melodies. They never intended to set alight the genre boundaries of modern music, but nevertheless their debut, 'Hopes And Fears', sold several hundred thousand copies its first month, and Keane quickly filled the void left by Coldplayís vacation to the studio. Itís a record that grows with every listen, and more importantly, itís a record of songs - the kind you can play round a campfire (if you have a portable piano). Given that, Keaneís stay looks like being a lengthy and welcome one and it probably wonít be long until theyíre higher up the bill for the big summer events. In the lead up to their V Festival slot, we catch up with the band and try to uncover their own hope and fears.

Virtual Festivals: After your tremendous mid-afternoon Glasto set, anything else must seem like a Barfly gig?
Tom: At some gigs, youíre much more nervous and itís not due to the amount of people or whatever, itís just difficult to explain. Glastonbury is one of the biggest gigs that a band can play in their entire career, so we were incredibly nervous before that, but having done it, it gives you the confidence coming into something like this, that youíve already experienced something like that. I guess that helps us out.

VF: In a kind of complimentary way the band hasnít changed much since you were playing Dublin castle gigs.. How does the reality of that compare to what you thought it would be?
Tim: It is pretty surreal whatís happened but, at the same time I canít say weíre really disillusioned with it all; that it hasnít been as good as we expected and we were expecting it to be all very bling.

VF: Are you afraid?
Tim: I think what we have on our side is that our music relates and kind of reaches out to people, and as long as it keeps doing that we remain honest and true to ourselves

VF: What happens when you run out of fucked up relationships? You run out of songs then donít you?
Tim: I love bands that write music that are a bit older (30-40), whatever it is, and theyíre still writing about Ďyou know what its like snogging a girl the first timeí and I always find that a bit weird, and itís nice that bands develop the things they write about. When we get to make another album I'm sure thereís going to be plenty of songs about fucked up relationships Ďcause you know unfortunately theyíre always around. I hope we can write about other stuff as well, it would be crazy to think there isnít stuff to write about. Life is so full of weird stuff you only have to look around you to find inspiration.

VF: Coldplay make a whole profession out of trading off their charity work and Elbow came on stage this weekend with a big anti-mine flag. Where do you stand? Politics is politics, music is music?
Tom: Thatís the way I feel about it (politics is politics, music is music) and I donít really know very much about politics. I really donít think we feel, as a band thereís a place for politics just because we donít really know what weíre talking about if weíre going on. At the same time it is admirable when people stand up for things that they believe in.

- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Article by: Andrew Future

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