The Kooks on their new album, band chemistry, and many crazy moments

The Kooks
Image credit: Andreas Nowak

The band are excited for the future, with their new ‘Best Of… So Far’ album nearly completed and set to release on 19th May. The album will feature classics as well as new tracks, including their latest single ‘Be Who You Are’. Vocalist, Luke Pritchard reflected on how the band “learnt a lot from the fourth album, we did take some risks” and “had some pretty uncomfortable situations”. But for their upcoming record, they’re “maybe going back to the routes of the band”. The aptly titled single ‘Be Who You Are’ seems to reflect the band going back to the style of their earlier records. But Pritchard says “I don’t know about the title… it wasn’t necessarily about the band but I guess it kind of ends up being like that. But it definitely was intentional to do that kind of song”.

“I think we’re going against the grain, we’ve definitely tried to make an album, not just songs. It feels like in that lineage of The Kinks. It feels like maybe the most band record we’ve done for a couple of albums and certainly since our first one. There’s a lot of band in the room, which was really cool and there’s a lot of chemistry of the band instead of overdoing some of the modern tricks”.

The Kooks have come a long way since they formed in 2004. “We’re just about to do our biggest tour ever which is an arena tour which we’ve never done. It’s funny, we’re playing at the Corn Exchange tonight and we’ve played that probably on our last five tours, it’s kind of like, I mean that’s a great thing, I think we feel gracious, is that the word?” The other band members then chirped in with “humble” “grateful?” “gratefulness!” Their upcoming ‘Best Of’ tour “is about playing what the crowd are keen to hear… and we’re thrilled to be doing that purely for that reaction from the crowd”.

When I asked the band for any weird or crazy memories from past tours, guitarist Hugh Harris said, “There’s been some moments hasn’t there – my brain freezes when people ask these questions! We’ve been in massive storms in festivals where literally none of us are particularly religious but I think we were praying”.

“We had to cut the set short because all the lighting rigs and stuff were starting to just swing in the air and we had to announce it to the crowd and it was mid Naïve and I looked over towards the stack and it was swinging and the stage manager came onto Luke’s mic and just said to the crowd, just, ehrm, RUN! [all laugh] Yeah, that was crazy". The plane got struck by lightning as well once, so another weather-related, ehrm, incident!”

Before the interview ended, Pritchard chirped in “‘to sum up, arena tour, coming up in November/December, tickets are available on Friday May 12th”. The band were extremely friendly and had a laugh reminiscing and discussing music. Vocalist Luke Pritchard posted on Instagram earlier: ‘Feeling clever in Cambridge... sorta.. thank you to @cambridgeunion for having us today to talk music! Big love and respect! Lot of proud mums out there!’ So, any Kooks fans reading, don’t hesitate to get tickets for what promises to be their biggest tour to date. The venues appear to be indoors, so no need to worry about storms this time!

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