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The Kooks

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May 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM

15 Lansdowne Street
Boston, MA 02215 Map

  • The Kooks

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The Kooks: The Kooks are an English indie rock band from Brighton, England. Formed in 2004, the band currently consists of Luke Pritchard (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Hugh Harris (lead guitar), Paul Garred (drums) and Peter Denton (bassist).[1] Taking their name from the David Bowie song "Kooks" the band were signed to Virgin Records after just three months of performing locally around Brighton.[2] The Kooks achieved chart success with their first single Eddie’s Gun which reached number thirty nine on the UK Singles Chart. Their debut album, Inside In/Inside Out, released in January 2006, spawned six top 40 singles and to date the album has sold over two million copies.[3] The album brought the band into mainstream media attention, in particular winning the award for best UK and Ireland act at the MTV awards in 2006[4] and picking up a Brit Awards nomination for the single She Moves in Her Own Way.[5] The band’s second album Konk, released in April 2008, went straight to number one on the UK Albums Charts and sold over 65,000 copies in its debut week.[6]

Formation

The original members of The Kooks all met as students at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. Drawing influence from artists and bands such as Neil Young, The Police and The Rolling Stones. Luke Pritchard made the decision to form a band, saying they "got together just on a whim,"[2] he would ask Max Raffety, later bassist for The Kooks, to become involved under the guise of a school music project. After bringing Hugh Harris and Paul Garred into the group, they began playing small gigs and performances around Brighton, where they were based. Pritchard revealed the first song they ever played as a group was a cover version of The Strokes' song "Reptilia".[7]

The Kooks recorded an EP demo, sending it out in search of gigs, they instead received offers from managers and record companies.[2] The band had only been together as a group for three months when they signed with Virgin Records,[2] after being spotted by the label at the Brighton Free Butt Festival in 2005.[8] In an interview with musicohm.com, Pritchard revealed "It was really quick how it all happened, we did a demo with a mate of ours in London, which we sent off to one guy to get some gigs, and he turned out to be a manager. He rung us up and it kind of went from there."[7] The members of the band have since revealed that they felt they weren’t ready at the time, "We were way too early to sign a record deal to be honest with you. We were really young, we'd been together like two or three months, so we really didn't want to sign. But then we thought it's a really good opportunity and Virgin seemed like really cool people - they just seemed to really understand where we were coming from.,"[7] said Pritchard, who has also complimented the space the record label allowed for the band to grow, "They were patient with us and let us develop our style, whatever it is."[2]

Inside In/Inside Out

After they signed to Virgin Records, The Kooks did not want to record an album straight away, instead deciding to focus more on their live performances and songwriting. The band has said embarking on their first live tour instead of recording an album initially helped them develop their style and sound. As Pritchard claimed, "We didn’t sit down with a blueprint. We just naturally developed and we didn’t try to shape or mould ourselves to anything."[9] As a result, they went into the studio with hundreds of songs from a variety of genres, and it took an "incredible amount of patience" from producer Tony Hoffer to shape the content into what would become the record.[2]

Following their first tour, The Kooks began recording their debut album, Inside In/Inside Out, at Konk studios in London.[10] The album was released in January 2006. First week sales of the album were minimal, at 19,098. Although, the album eventually climbed up the charts and peaked at number two for a total of two weeks on the UK Albums Chart. The first single released off the album, "Eddie's Gun", was a top 40 hit and Inside In/Inside Out would ultimately produce six top 40 hits, including two top 10 hits; "Naïve" and "She Moves in Her Own Way".[11]

The album went on to be certified triple platinum within a year and has sold over two million units to date.[12] The success of their debut album brought the band into mainstream media attention, winning the award for best UK and Ireland act at the MTV Awards in 2006 and picking up a Brit Awards nomination for "She Moves in Her Own Way", in 2007.[13][14]

Critical response to the album was generally favourable, with a total score of 73% on review aggregator Metacritic, based on 18 reviews.[15] Prefix magazine described the album as "An almost-perfect blend of '60s-style Britpop, '90s-style Britpop, and the post-punk of the new millennium", giving it an 8 out of 10.[16] NME also rated it favourably, saying it was "An eclectic but thoroughly satisfying record."[17]

Some critics were less satisfied with The Kooks' debut, Uncut claimed the album was "Breathless power-pop offset by an innuendo-laden lyricism".[18] While others believe the band was over-hyped and undeserving of their acclaim, in particular Rolling Stone stated in their review, "The Kooks serve as an important reminder that there are just as many mediocre bands in the U.K. as there are here in the States."[19]

Konk The Kooks at Irving Plaza 11th May 2007

The second studio album by The Kooks, Konk, was named after the recording studio where it was recorded and produced by Tony Hoffer.[20] It was released on 14 April 2008. Prior to releasing the album, in an interview with NME, lead singer Luke Pritchard had claimed to have 80-90 songs written for the album, stating, "I want this album to be big……I've got an ego, I want the album to do well. I want our singles to come on the radio and for people to literally have their heads blown off by them".[21]

Konk went on to debut on the the UK Albums Chart at number one with first week sales of 65,901 units.[22] The album also spawned three top 50 hits including their highest chart performer to date, "Always Where I Need to Be", which peaked at number three. RAK, a second part limited edition two disc version of Konk was also released. It contains nine extra tracks, including an alternate version of "See the Sun" and a home demo called "Brooklyn".[23]

Critical response to Konk was mixed, generating a score of 65% from a total of 22 reviews on Metacritic.[24] Betty Clark of The Guardian claimed that "Pritchard hits new high notes and rises to the challenge of the vibrant melodies and finely tuned choruses", giving the album 4 out of 5.[25] However musicOHM.com rated the album poorly, saying while "It will no doubt be the soundtrack of the summer for many people, but the lack of originality, warmth and soul may well leave some feeling rather under whelmed."[26] Kate Sharp in a review for BBC music considered the album a failure in comparison to their debut, claiming "second album syndrome" as the cause.[27]

Departure of Max Rafferty and upcoming studio album

Bassist for The Kooks, Max Rafferty, permanently left the band on the 31 January 2008, after a series of absences due to illness and long-standing rumours about his place in the band, Rafferty's drug addiction was also quoted as one of the reasons for his departure.[28] Dan Logan, bassist with a local Brighton band Cat the Dog, was drafted in as a temporary replacement for Rafferty.[29] After the departure of Rafferty, the band had considered splitting up. Singer Luke Pritchard had told the The Sun's Something for the Weekend that "Splitting does go through your mind. It's hard to let go of something you care about so much. We have fans to think of." Pritchard also discussed the possibility of Dan Logan joining the band as their new bassist, "It's been really strange for us but it's something that had to happen. Dan hasn’t joined the band properly yet. We're trying him out, but I love playing with him."[30] In the end, Logan did not join the band on a permanent basis, instead in October 2008, Peter Denton was drafted into the band and has become the permanent bassist.[31]

The Kooks revealed to BBC's Newsbeat in April 2009, that they were working on their third studio album. Pritchard told Newsbeat, "We kind of barricaded ourselves in the countryside for a few weeks - stayed at some friend's who have a cottage in Norfolk." The band were said to be rehearsing and "writing new stuff." The band is also set to return to touring, with shows scheduled in the UK throughout the summer.[32]

(From Wikipedia)

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