Arts concert review

A night at the Brit-rock sock hop

The Postelles and The Kooks bring rock and roll to Boston

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: This review incorrectly says that The Postelles and The Kooks performed at Paradise Rock Club on Nov. 19. The bands played at Boston’s House of Blues.

The Kooks with The Postelles

Paradise Rock Club

Nov. 19, 2011

Reading too many I Saw You MIT posts making you feel angsty? If you feel like you’re still going through the same tensions of high school over and over again, you’ll probably fit right in with The Postelles and The Kooks, two bands whom, although grown-up now, are still rehashing the trials and tribulations of their young romances. They certainly don’t take those pains too heavily though, both bands pairing their cheekily tortured lyrics with upbeat rock and roll.

The Postelles opened for The Kooks on the Boston leg of their international tour, playing a short set featuring ’50s and ’60s inspired songs from their debut album. I had the chance to speak with The Postelles’ guitarist David Dargahi over the phone, who told me that many of the bandmates went to high school together and “raided [their] parents’ music collections” in search of “Sam Cooke and Buddy Holly and a lot of ’60s stuff like The Zombies, The Kinks, The Beatles.” The feel-good vibe definitely comes through in their music with nods to their experiences growing up in New York City. The must-listen track from the album is definitely “White Night,” a song that captures “what it was like growing up in the city and the kind of lust [they] had for girls and the fast-paced kind of life [they] had there, being so young and being in such a big city.”

Hearing The Postelles play live was like experiencing the closest recreation of a ’50s era episode of American Bandstand that a bunch of 20-somethings could dream up, minus the pastel frocks and big hair and plus The Strokes-type influences that brought the band together. Make sure to check out “123 Stop” and “Can’t Stand Still” from their self-titled debut album for a taste of the band’s young love sickness.

As if The Postelles didn’t bring enough of the Beatles vibe back to life, The Kooks stormed on stage like a modern-day British invasion. Lead vocalist Luke Pritchard strutted around the stage like Mick Jagger, the rest of the Brighton-based band rocking out behind him. Concert-goers truly got the British experience, trying to decipher Luke’s half-slurred, heavily-accented interludes.

With several albums behind them already, the band chose from a large library of fan-favorites, playing dancing favorites “Always Where I Need To Be” and “Do You Wanna” as well as a toned-down acoustic version of “Seaside” that had the whole crowd singing along. They also heavily favored songs off their newest album, Junk of the Heart, playing new favorites like “How’d You Like That” and “Eskimo Kiss” that brought out a more playful feeling from a band that can be pretty heavy at times.

The new album is a great way to get acquainted with the band, especially the title track “Junk of the Heart” and “Mr. Nice Guy,” a song that’s true to the frustrated roots from the band’s other albums. Those roots aren’t going anywhere, with the band closing out their jump-up-and-down encore with “Naive,” a cutting break-up song.

So next time you’re feeling frustrated in love, check out The Postelles and The Kooks for a little commiseration and a pick-me-up feel.