Up close and personal with Keane at impromptu gig

To be somewhere only they know is every Keane fan’s dream come true and those lucky enough to see the band not only sign copies of their latest album but to perform an intimate gig in Bexhill left many feeling higher than the sun.

15/11/13- Keane playing an informal gig at 'Music's Not Dead', Bexhill.
15/11/13- Keane playing an informal gig at 'Music's Not Dead', Bexhill.

The Battle-based band, used to performing in front of an audience of thousands at sold-out gigs worldwide, have kept their feet on the ground despite their phenomenal rise to fame.

Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin and Richard Hughes were warm, friendly and totally unfazed by performing in restricted space to around 200 people standing shoulder to shoulder inside Bexhill’s Music’s Not Dead record shop and spilling out onto the pavement in Devonshire Road.

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There was only room for Tom and Tim to perform with Richard joining them to sign copies of their Best of Keane album. The fourth member of Keane, Jesse Quin, couldn’t be there as his wife, Julia, had recently given birth to a baby boy.

15/11/13- Keane playing an informal gig at 'Music's Not Dead', Bexhill.

Tim said he wanted to support Del Querns and Richard Wortley, owners of Music’s Not Dead, because he knows how hard it is for record shops to survive, adding: ”This is pretty much my local store. I’ve been in here and brought records and I think they do an amazing job, they are very, very dedicated and spend a huge amount of time and energy trying to keep music alive in a place where there isn’t a huge music scene, very similar to where we grew up in Battle, so its really very important.”

Richard Wortley said having Keane perform in the store was quite a coup. He said: “We were really excited, it was something we could only ever dream about when we opened the shop to be honest. Having a crowd like this with Keane performing a short set is incredible.”

Last year Bexhill featured high on Keane’s Strangeland album. A picture of Bexhill’s seafront is on the cover and one of the tracks, Sovereign Light Cafe reflected on their years growing up around Battle and Bexhill.

Sovereign Light Cafe was one of the four songs performed at the gig. Addressing adoring fans between songs Tom said: “We have happy memories of Bexhill, happy nostalgic memories of the place. It’s fantastic to be here in this little record store. This is amazing, there are so many of you here today and its very flattering and lovely as ever to play among you lovely fans of Keane.”

There appears to be little truth in the rumours that Keane are splitting up any time soon, and Tom is hoping to make a solo record next year. Visit the website at: http://www.keanemusic.com/