Everything you never wanted to know about the band once called 'the new Coldplay'.
Correct. Keane originally had a guitarist (Dominic Scott), but he left in 2001 to go back to university. This makes him Pete Best to Keane's Beatles - and probably a very unhappy man, all things considered.
Keane consist of Tim Rice-Oxley (piano and backing vocals), Tom Chaplin (lead vocals) and Richard Hughes (drums). Kind of like The White Stripes, but without the implied incest thing, they rely on the 'gimmick' of a non-traditional band setup to make them stand out. However, this actually makes them somehow [i]more[/i] boring.
Basically, they're like a chicken sandwich (bland, inoffensive, yet palatable) but without the mayo. In other words - unthinkable.
Keane were initially signed to Fierce Panda Records, by a guy named Simon Williams, in December 2002. This being the same Simon Williams who inflicted Coldplay on us... the very same Coldplay who at one point had tried to recruit Tim Rice-Oxley some years previous. I know that I've already made an incest joke on this page, but... what? Is there some weird British Indie-rock MOR member-swapping club in London? If we go there, will we find Chris Martin strapped down, wearing nothing but assless chaps and a gimp mask whilst being furiously paddled by members of The Feeling as he composes his next "anthem"?
Please, if you know of such a club, don't hesitate to inform me of its location - so that I can blow it up and do the world a favour. Especially if Jonny Borrell from Razorlight happens to be there. How I loathe him...
Anyway, I digress...
After a veritable bidding war, Keane's debut album Hopes and Fears was released (on Island Records) in May 2004. So far, it has gone Platinum a remarkable nine times. Keane won a pair of Brit awards for the album - Best British Album and Best Breakthrough Act. Tim Rice-Oxley (him again) was also presented the Ivor Novello Songwriter of the Year award. This would probably be more meaningful if this same award hadn't also been won by such musical 'greats' as Dido, Gary Barlow (of Take That), Craig David and - them, again - Coldmotherfuckinplay.
Keane capped off their Hopes & Fears days by losing out to John Legend for the Best New Artist Grammy, and playing at the London Date of the Live 8 tour. Just to up their douchebag factor a little further, Keane opened several dates in the US for the arch-douchebags themselves - the mighty rock legends that are U2. Similarities between U2 and Keane can also be seen in the way that the latter often release charity records for War Child. I can't actually make any jokes about that, because that's pretty cool.
Also, this cheerful fellow is holding a machete to my testicles, and swearing in Congolese.
Keane's second album, Under the Iron Sea, was released worldwide in June 2006. It debuted at #1 in the UK music charts and its first single, "Is It Any Wonder?", was nominated for a Grammy.
However, the grim spectre of rock star burnout would come a-calling for Keane in August of that year, when vocalist Chaplin would force the cancellation of their US dates in September by checking into chic clinic the Priory for rehab. Now, for those who aren't in the know, The Priory is basically your one-stop shop for all forms of addiction - as long as you're famous. Paparazzi hang out beyond the gates, hoping for a glimpse of some washed-up reality starlet with an incurable coke/heroin/booze/faberge egg habit to appear momentarily without make up on, or in a pair of trousers that went out of fashion two tuesdays ago. Pictures are taken. Gossip columns are written. Money changes hands.
Unlike other celebrities who've checked into Rehab for cool things like heroin, screwing playboy bunnies, or screwing playboy bunnies on herion, Chaplin checked into the Priory because of an addiction to these:
Yes, Mister Chaplin had become hopelessly dependant on Port and Cheese. The mind boggles.
Chaplin recovered from his debilitating affliction of the mind, and the band resumed touring in October.
Happily, Chaplin's fortified wine-based demon (who probably wears a monocle and reads The Financial Times for great deals on condo's by the lake of fire) hasn't yet resurfaced.
Keane released another album, Perfect Symmetry on August 4th of 2008, which also went UK music chart #. This album featured electric guitar for the first time, thus killing off the 'no guitar' gimmick of the previous two, and pushing them further towards the middle of the road. In order to cement that position, they were awarded Album of the Year by Q Magazine, the music magazine for the 30-something IT consultant who wants to seem 'trendy' and 'down with it'.
To give you some idea of what Keane are like, here is a sample of some of the comments on amazon relating to their first album, Hopes & Fears:
"If you're not the sort of person who's happy to listen to dross, do yourself a favour and run a mile from Keane and all the insipid, lifeless wallpaper-muzak currently infesting the airwaves."
- Daniel F M Catton
"Keane is the reason i cut myself. Since first hearing the album i have been unable to endure a single waking minute of the day without longing to hammer nails into my legs and pull off my eyelids. The blood drys and sticks to my eyes, the smell is intolerage."
- A Customer (and no, I don't know what that last sentence means either...)
"Hopes and Fears is ideal, then, to cue up behind Dido's current dirge when you're 'entertaining' your more boring friends."
- Mr. J Stow
"The major argument for 'Hopes and Fears' is that it is piano based, and so is 'different' from most music in the charts. It is not different: it is average and dull. If it was a colour, it would be beige."
- A (slightly less morbid this time) Customer
"I love the lyrics on this cd, in fact I actually really enjoy this cd, the only thing that really gets on my nerves is the fact the lead singer can't breathe correctly, I know its not a classical cd or whatever you're thinking but I can't stand the fact he takes huge disgusting breaths a throughout the cd and they are really in your face"
- "Sims Fan"
(P.S: Before anyone mentions it, those weren't all from 1-Star reviews...)