Source - NME
Date - 16-Apr-2004
Author - Alex Needham
Original article - not online (go here for the Keane's artist page at

Piano botherers of the world unite!

If you like your rock'n'roll red in tooth and claw (and let's face it, if you're reading NME you probably do) then you might as well stop reading now. Keane have all the raucous abrasiveness of a bag of cotton wool. Their singer, Tom Chaplin has a voice so high and pure, even a Silk Cut Ultra Low has surely never crossed his lips. They famously shun the guitar as a lead instrument in favour of a baby grand piano. They look like three youthful antique dealers whose preferred tipple is sweet sherry.

And so what? The idea that a band should be a beer-swilling, bird-pulling, guitar-toting four-piece is a lazy, limiting cliché which writes off some amazing music while excusing total cobblers. By ths rationale, The Darkness are a better band than Kraftwerk while OutKast can't hold a candle to BRMC. The best bands think outside the box, and so in their way do Keane. There's something deeply wrong about them - their sound is reminiscent of such wildly unfashionable bands as Travis and, thanks to Tom's voice, Ultravox - but that only makes them even more unique.

However, all this is to ignore the biggest weapon in Keane's arsenal - the tunes. As you'll know from the singles 'Somewhere Only We Know' and 'Everybody's Changing', Keane's songs are so irresistibly commercial they make Dido sound like Einstürzende Neubauten. 'Bend And Break' has the kind of overwhelmingly anthemic chorus that automatically fills stadiums. 'This Is The Last Time' sounds set to replace Coldplay's 'Clocks' as the song of choice for TV executives who want something to soundtrack anything from a goals round-up to an EastEnders preview. 'Bedshaped' will rule the radio dial from end to end. Keane even have a line in chillout (displayed in 'Sunshine' and 'Untitled I') destined to put Zero 7 out of business.

In other words, while some bands come for the nation's children, Keane won't rest until they've colonised every strata of society from toddlers to grannies. Resistance is futile, so why struggle?