About Sounds of The City - The Kooks
The Kooks are an English indie rock band formed in 2004 in Brighton. The band currently consists of Luke Pritchard , Hugh Harris and Alexis Nunez . The original bassist was Max Rafferty, and the founding drummer was Paul Garred. The lineup of the band remained constant until the departure of Rafferty in 2008. Dan Logan served as a temporary replacement, then Peter Denton joined the band permanently in October 2008 until they announced he was no longer playing with them in January 2019. Early in 2010, Pritchard announced the departure of drummer Paul Garred, due to a nerve problem in his arm. Late in the year, Garred rejoined for studio sessions, however Chris Prendergast played drums when the band played live. Garred finally left in November 2011 after the release of their third album, Junk of the Heart.
In 2012, the band was accompanied on drums by Robden Alexis Nunez , who eventually joined the band full-time.
Their music is primarily influenced by the 1960s British Invasion movement and post-punk revival of the new millennium. The Kooks have experimented in several genres including rock, Britpop, pop, reggae, ska, and more recently, funk and hip-hop, being described once as a "more energetic Thrills or a looser Sam Roberts Band, maybe even a less severe Arctic Monkeys at times".
Signed to Virgin Records just three months after forming, the Kooks broke into the musical mainstream with their debut album Inside In/Inside Out . The album was ultimately successful, achieving quadruple platinum status in the UK within a year and also overseas in the form of a platinum certification in Australia and two times platinum in Ireland. The Kooks found themselves entering into mainstream media attention, with the band winning the award for Best UK & Ireland Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2006 and picking up a nomination at The Brit Awards for the single "She Moves in Her Own Way". With their follow-up Konk debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, it recorded first week sales of 65,000, achieving gold status in both the UK and Ireland. Their third studio album, entitled Junk of the Heart, was released on 12 September 2011. Their fourth album Listen was released on 8 September 2014. Their most recent album Let’s Go Sunshine was released on 2 September 2018 and peaked at No.9 on the UK Albums Chart.
Three members of the Kooks all met as students at the BRIT School in Croydon, all three moving further south to join BIMM in 2002. The inspiration to form a band came to Pritchard as he and Garred were out shopping for clothes one day in Primark as a joke. Speaking to MTV Garred said, "we had a vision on how we wanted the band to look and stuff—so we bought some clothes and these hats, it was fun." Sharing a love of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Police, and David Bowie, Pritchard got Harris and Rafferty involved under the guise of a school music project. Pritchard himself said "We got together just on a whim, really." With a strong demo of their material Garred and Pritchard went in search of a gig, and according to Garred, they were able to book their first show simply because the landlord liked their hats. "So we went in to get a gig, we don't have a demo blid burnt, and this guy told us, 'Well, you can't get a gig if you don't have a demo, but I like your hats, so I'm going to give you a gig'", said Garred. However, the band was unable to make the performance as they were finishing off their demo at the time.
Taking their name from the David Bowie song with the same title, Pritchard revealed the first song they ever played as a group was a cover version of the Strokes' song "Reptilia". The Kooks recorded an EP demo, sending it out in search of gigs; they instead received offers from managers and record companies. The band had only been together as a group for four months when they signed with Virgin Records, after being spotted by several label scouts at the Brighton Free Butt Festival in 2005. In an interview with musicOMH, 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." 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 ... 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.," 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 was."
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