To mark the tenth anniversary of the chart-topping band, The Kooks are back and bigger than ever with their ‘Best Of’ UK tour. The tour will see them performing classic songs like Naïve and Brit award-nominated She Moves in Her Own Way, as well as songs recorded this year, straight from the studio.
To kick start their long-awaited tour, The Kooks performed intimate gigs at The Prince Albert and The Haunt last month for their much-loved Brighton fans, since the boys have a special connection with our seaside town. The band formed in Brighton in 2004, with two band members, Luke Pritchard and Hugh Harris, meeting at BIMM. After performing at Brighton Freebutt Festival in 2005, the band was scouted and signed to Virgin Records after being together just four months.
I got to chat with the incredibly friendly (and funny) bassist, Peter Denton, who only started playing with the band a week before their five-time platinum album Inside In/Inside Out came out. “I just got to have the benefits without the hard work!” he chuckles. Denton went to a performing arts school in his hometown, Leeds. “I had to do drama and ballet, which was fun – but I don’t think I’ll ever be a ballet dancer,” he laughs, “I grew up with music. My dad’s a musician – he plays guitar. I guess if you’re around it, it is inevitably going to happen.”
After catapulting to indie-pop fame before they could blink, it’s no surprise that after ten years of being together their UK tour has sold out. Selling out their biggest show to date at Alexandra Palace felt “incredible”. The last time The Kooks toured was after their album Listen. Following the 2015 tour, the band took some well-deserved time off. Denton, a father of two, noted “It was nice to spend time with family, you know?”
The music scene in Brighton was one factor in The Kooks’ sensational success as they shot out of the woodworks alongside bands like Arctic Monkeys. Now, with over 100 million Spotify plays for one song, Peter reflects on how the industry has changed since they started out all those years ago. “It’s mad – one day you could be nobody, next you’re getting your record streamed a million times.” They’re keeping a watchful eye on social media to keep up with the ever-changing industry.
With a fantastic outlook for the future, don’t expect this foursome to be twiddling their thumbs once the tour is over. They hope to release their new album in the new year, reminiscent of ‘old school’ Kooks, which you’ll hear on their recent single Be Who You Are. “It’s cool, man. It sounds amazing, and everyone is super excited. Every album we try out new things – sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s what keeps us on our toes and that’s the main thing, really!” Die hard fans will be excited to hear the music behind Be Who You Are has returned to the roots of guitar-based rock‘n’roll.
The band describes the tour as a celebration of how long they’ve been together. “It feels flattering to know that people still have a lot of love for the band. We’re over the moon. We know what people want to hear so it should be good. Hopefully it will be a riot!” He finishes by telling me to “get a ticket for the tour!”, which I certainly will try to do.