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The Kooks
How did four teenagers go from playing small gigs in the sea-side town of Brighton to opening for The Rolling Stones? The Record talks exclusively to The Kooks lead singer Luke Pritchard and plots their incredible musical road map!

1. Four teenage friends begin jamming together at college.
Luke recalls their beginnings, “We were all in college in Brighton, we’d moved down there from different places in England and we just met as friends and started talking about music. We wanted to be in a band, so we started jamming together. That’s how it came about. I’ve always been a musician but I didn’t really think about it in ‘career’ terms. I just knew that I loved playing music and I wanted to be in a band. Luckily enough we got a record deal and we put records out.”

When asked to describe the band members he laughs, “I see myself mainly as a songwriter more than anything. I don’t know… I’m 5 foot 10, brown hair, blue eyes. That describes us all!”

2. Their reputation as solid live performers builds and they get signed to a label.
The band soon immersed themselves in writing and playing music. Soon they caught the eye of Virgin Records after a particularly exciting four-song set at the Brighton Free Butt.

The live scene continues to offer plenty of opportunities for chaos for the band. Luke tells us, “We’ve had some pretty mad live gigs. We’ve played a lot now ~ we once even played Ibiza, which was very weird! Taking rock and roll to Ibiza was kind of a strange thing to do. There were people dancing to house music and then you play this mad gig. This girl had a fit in the middle of the dance floor! I think they’re kind of used to that in Ibiza though. [Laughs]”

3. Their debut album receives rave reviews.
From the start the band was pretty clear about their musical direction ~ they would go wherever their hearts took them. As a result, their debut release is an energetic mix of rock, pop, punk, ska, soul and even some reggae grooves. They were also clear that they didn’t want to shove their album down people’s throats ~ they wanted people to listen to their record without forcing it upon them.

The approach was the right one. Their debut album Inside In/Outside Out was immediately well-received. The cheeky first single Eddie's Gun received critical and commercial raves, their next song Sofa Song was a Top Thirty hit and the rest of the album has a genre-shattering collection of songs that reflect their eclectic influences. Our personal favourite is the mellow Seaside, an excellent opener to the album.

It’s not surprising that the album is so diverse ~ it is reported that boys all have very impressive record collections. Luke laughs when asked about that, “I think it is impressive yes! Let’s see, I’ve got a lot of Bob Dylan, a few original Velvet Underground records, I have lots of Buddy Holly records, the Everly Brothers… I could go on, I just have a lot of different stuff.” Between them, they are also influenced by artists like Neil Young, Nick Drake, Chuck Berry to name a few ~ all leading to a well-rounded musical education for The Kooks.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with The Kooks in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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