I was searching through iTunes for another band… I think The Fratellis, or maybe The Pigeon Detectives, when I noticed folks talking about The Kooks. My love for this band was fairly instantaneous. They are what I would describe as Pop Punk, but I love their own description on Wikipedia… “Self described “musical whores” The Kooks have drawn on a number of varied sources to create their indie pop sound. Listing The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Chris de Burgh among their influences.”
Okay, I’ll tell you what… go a little deeper with Chris de Burgh… seriously… He may have had you at “Lady in Red,” which I can take or leave, but “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” was a great tune, as is “Fire On The Water” and “A Spaceman Came Traveling.” It’s pure pop, but he is one hell of a pop singer…
With that said, it is an odd combination of bands to list as influences… But it works!
The name of the band comes from the David Bowie song… and the name of the album comes from the name of Ray Davies’ studio, where the album was recorded. Some of it was also recorded in Los Angeles, and the album, released in 2008, was a pretty big hit in the UK. It did actually make the charts here, too but not a lot of people I know seem to know this band. Their third and latest album comes out in September of this year. I was definitely a late comer, so there it is.
According to Wikipedia there is an ongoing feud with the bands Razorlight and Arctic Monkeys…
“In an interview with NME in 2006, Razorlight’s lead singer Johnny Borrell claimed that The Kooks were simply copying their style; furthermore he claimed The Kooks were creating singles simply for the purpose of gaining radio airplay. Borrell stated, “The Kooks sound like they’re rolling over and begging Radio 1 to fuck them. “In response, The Kooks dedicated their single “Naïve” to Borrell live onstage during their final concert at London’s Astoria. However Pritchard, in an attempt to end the feud, spoke with Borrell at the Q Awards in 2006, to which Borrell replied “Who are you again?”
In 2008, The Kooks revealed an ongoing dispute with Arctic Monkeys. The feud arose from Pritchard kicking Alex Turner, lead singer for Arctic Monkeys, in the face whilst onstage. Pritchard claimed that Turner had been attempting to disrupt his performance. “I had to kick Alex in the face after he tried to pull the leads out of my guitar pedals while we were on stage.” Pritchard spoke to The Daily Mail about his efforts to apologise for the incident later on. “I saw them recently in a studio and tried to patch things up. I asked Alex if he wanted to have a bit of a jam in the studio, but he just turned his back and walked away.” Pritchard went on to describe the Arctic Monkeys as “arrogant” but conceded that Turner is “a genius musician, and a really talented song writer, but now we’ve got this beef. But he shouldn’t have touched my guitar.”
You have to love Rock n’ Roll! And I hope you’ll love this band.
Check out the whole album for sure, but my standout tracks are:
“See the Sun,” “Mr. Maker,” “Shine On” and “Gap.”