By Danny Schrafel
The Kooks, a British band of pop-rockers celebrating 10 years on the music scene this year, will take the Paramount stage next Thursday, Oct. 9, as part of a world tour to promote their latest record, “Listen.”
The band’s newest album, which debuted at no. 16 on the UK charts after a Sept. 8 release, incorporates elements of jazz, gospel and R&B into their sound. A glowing review from Britain’s Telegraph newspaper lauds the Kooks for “completely re-evaluating and overhauling their sound, and the result is an exuberant fourth album bristling with character.”
The Kooks are a self-described “pop” band that draw inspiration from various sources to create a unique rock sound, borrowing equally from the ’60s British invasion bands and the post-punk revival of the new millennium to craft uncompromisingly catchy songs.
Named after a song written for David Bowie’s son, Duncan, on his 1971 classic, “Hunky Dory,” the Kooks – then Luke Pritchard (vocals/guitar), Hugh Harris (guitar), Max Rafferty (bass), and Paul Garred (drums) – met while attending Brighton Music College in the mid-2000s. They bonded over a common affinity for the Police, the Strokes, the Everly Brothers and Funkadelic, and the band mates began channeling those influences into their own sound in 2005, when they began releasing singles for Virgin Records’ United Kingdom division. There, the romantically playful “You Don't Love Me” gave the band its first ever top 20 hit.
From there, the British hits just kept on coming. Their quadruple-platinum debut, “Inside In/Inside Out,” landed in January 2006 and spawned a top 5 hit, “Naive,” by the spring. They earned an MTV Europe Music Award in 2006 for Best UK & Ireland Act. Soon after, they made their American debut at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas that March, and the American imprint of “Inside In/Inside Out” landed on Astralwerks in October.
Two years later, the Kooks returned with “Konk,” a release which coincided with the announcement that Rafferty had left the band and was replaced by former Cat the Dog bassist Dan Logan. At the end of 2010 the band returned to the recording studio with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Idlewild, The Thrills), and the new direction yielded “Junk of the Heart,” their third LP.
Now they’re on the road to promote “Listen.” In addition to stops in the United States and their native Britain, the Huntington-area gig includes stops in Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Australia and New Zealand.
Tickets for The Kooks, who will be joined by special guests Halsey and Priory, are $35-$70. Visit paramountny.com.