The Strokes kick off UK tour with intimate show

Julian Casablancas and co hit the road in style

The Strokes kicked off their UK tour last night (January 24) with an intimate London show.

The band, who are undertaking their biggest British jaunt in nearly three years, played an urgent and spikey set at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Greeting the audience, frontman Julian Casablancas – who traded his military tunic for a leather bikers jacket – quipped, “The bartender has got the best seat in the house, unless you’re down the front or up the top,” before launching into recent single ‘Juicebox’.

With members of Bloc Party and The Zutons watching in the crowd, the band played a 24 song set that mixed songs from new album ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ with favourites from their first two records, as The Strokes blended the likes of ‘Evening Sun’ and ’15 Minutes’ with trademark singles ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Hard To Explain’.

The gig also gave the band the chance to revisit some areas of their catalogue that do not normally get an airing.

Introducing ‘Is This It’ cut ‘Trying Your Luck’, Casablancas admitted, “This isn’t a song we’ve played a lot and people are always asking us to do it. Sorry if you came to a show before and we didn’t play it, we’re playing it now”.

Concluding their initial set with ‘Reptilia’, which included the odd sight of The Strokes‘ frontman doing press-ups while his bandmates played the intro, the band then returned for a six song encore that climaxed with ‘Take It Or Leave It’ and Casablancas telling the audience “I love you! Peace! God Bless!”

The Strokes played:

‘Heart In A Cage’

‘The Modern Age’

‘Juicebox’

‘Evening Sun’

‘The End Has No End’

‘Barely Legal’

‘Hawaii’

‘On The Other Side’

‘Red Light’

‘Last Nite’

‘Hard To Explain’

‘Razorblade’

‘Trying Your Luck’

‘What Ever Happened?’

‘You Only Live Once’

‘Someday’

’15 Minutes’

‘Reptilia’

’12:51′

‘New York City Cops’

‘Under Control’

‘Soma’

‘I Can’t Win’

‘Take It Or Leave It’

The Strokes tour continues tonight at Bristol Colston Hall and includes stops in Manchester, Brighton plus a return to London for a two night stand at the Hammersmith Apollo on February 17 and 18.