Lucky commuters on a Manchester tram were treated to a brilliant acoustic performance by Keane’s Tom Chaplin and Jesse Quin. This was part of the BBC Music Day, which took place Thursday 26th September and saw over 2000 music-related events across the UK. Keane had just returned to the music scene after a six-year break, releasing their album Cause and Effect, which reached number 2 on the UK album chart.
Singer Chaplin and guitarist Quin, who joined the band in 2007, performed stripped-down versions of their classic hit “Somewhere Only We Know” and new song “The Way I Feel”. The brilliant performances were only interrupted by automated announcements for upcoming stops, which brought laughter from the passengers, many of whom were filming the performance on their phones.
Clad in a leather jacket, Chaplin urged the makeshift audience to join him in singing the last few words of “Somewhere Only We Know”, which they did with great enthusiasm. “Not bad, not bad,” Chaplin said about their backing vocals. They then played “The Way I Feel” from their latest album, which also went down brilliantly with those lucky to be watching.
The moving ballad “Somewhere Only We Know” is the most famous song in Keane’s back catalogue. It reached number 3 in the charts when released in February 2004. The single has sold over two million copies in the US and over one million in the UK. Meanwhile, the video for the song has been viewed 554 million times on YouTube. Lily Allen covered the song in 2013 for that year’s John Lewis Christmas advert. Allen’s version reached number 1 in the UK singles chart and has sold over 600,000 copies.
It has been a long journey for Keane, originally called The Lotus Eaters, to reach this point in their career. They broke through in 2004 with their album Hopes and Fears. It peaked at number 1 in the UK album charts, was the UK’s second best-selling album of 2004 and won the band the 2005 Brit Award for Best British Album. The band were very quickly destined for great things, and they cemented their place as one of the UK’s greatest modern bands with the release of their 2006 album Under the Iron Sea, which peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 200.
However, the pressure of success took its toll on the band, and Chaplin entered rehab for drink and drug addiction in 2006. After becoming a father in 2014, Chaplin decided to address these long-standing problems once and for all, and this led to a six-year break between the release of the band’s The Best of Keane and Cause and Effect. The band members also released solo projects during this time, before getting back together for their 2019 release.