The Kooks are an English pop rock band formed in 2004 in Brighton. The band currently consists of Luke Pritchard (vocals/rhythm guitar), Hugh Harris (lead guitar/synth), Alexis Nunez (drums), and Peter Denton (bass guitar). 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, until Peter Denton joined the band permanently in October 2008. 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.
Eleven years after the debut album that introduced The Kooks as teenage contenders for the indie pop crown, the band’s singer and chief songwriter is considering the distance travelled – personally and creatively – between then and now, and admits that only recently has he “turned a corner” and learned to fully appreciate their breakthrough release.
“You’re always running forward, and you don’t want to look back,” he explains, “and I think every album that we did after ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ was us trying to get away from that album, trying to move and do different things. But I think I’ve turned around, and I guess there has been a good amount of reflection on it, and just feeling very positive about what happened.”
For the uninitiated, what happened was a five-times Platinum record that landed amid a lucrative period for British guitar music, in which The Kooks’ deft hooks and playful energy – abundant in tracks like ‘Eddie’s Gun’, ‘Ooh La’, ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ and ‘Naïve’ – found an instant audience. Luke – along with guitarist Hugh Harris, bassist Max Rafferty and drummer Paul Garred – effectively graduated overnight from college to cover stars.