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**The Kooks!**


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I knowwwwwwwwwwwwwww! :(







Hi guys,


The Brit Awards are approaching fast. Voting closes on Feb 11th, so we just wanted to drop you a quick reminder of how you can have your say.


To vote for the Kooks as best Breakthrough Act, text KOOKS to 80988, or vote online here.


You are free to vote as many times as you like!!


As a thank you for all your support, everyone that votes for us will receive details of a free download. We are also offering an amazing competition for you all to win your chance to come and celebrate with us at our Brits aftershow party!!


Listen out to Jo Whiley's show on Radio One this Thursday, where the band will be playing in the live lounge.


"Will the Kooks win? You decide!"


The Kooks

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OK, yes, today's a happy day for me.




I'm gonna spread the good news:













*drum rolling trrrr*



















































Red is going to die. I am going to die.

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  • 3 weeks later...

hey !


well...i must confess...i'm also abit obcessed with the kooks music right now


i fist saw them some time ago...i had just woke up and i was changing the channels of my tv in the morning...and then...mtv plays the video of "she moves her own way"....since then...i feel in love! just can not stop listening to them!!


they are really really good !


and it's so nice to know that there are people like that out there...they are very special lads...i can see on them the same spakle as i see on coldplay, and many other good bands...i think they are here to stay...at least i hope so ;)


i really wished i could see them live...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I hope someone can help me, I'm only missing these tracks from the kooks, could someone upload:


"You Don't Love Me" (live at the Garage) - 2:50


"Naive" (demo)


"You Don't Love Me" (live from Fopp Tour)


"She Moves in Her Own Way" [radio version] - 2:48

"I Already Miss You"


"Ooh La" [radio version]

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  • 2 months later...

The Kooks: Like a rolling stone



The Kooks are all the rage in America and count Lindsay Lohan and Keith Richard's daughters' as fans


Rock 'n' roll in America isn't fun. It's business. Britpop guru Kevin Sampson followed our latest export 'the Kooks', to the gigs, the parties with Lindsay Lohan and the TV shows to see if they could do the impossible and crack the US



There is a manic, triumphal atmosphere in the Kooks' dressing room. Paul Garred, the drummer, hugs me so hard his lucky necklace – two gold drumsticks on a chain – nearly snaps.


Frontman Luke Pritchard walks around topless, still on a high. A sheepish doorman knocks and hands him a plastic bag. Inside is a padded, green floral bra.


The left cup is inscribed: "Luke. I love you." The right cup: "Call me. Laura."


And a mobile phone number is scrawled in bold black marker. Luke seems more disturbed than enticed.


The bra is still there when we bail out to the tour bus. The band have just delivered an angry, dirty, incendiary set to the Washington DC crowd.


The boys were on fire. Just before they stepped on stage, a whisper came to the management team from a friend inside CBS television that David Letterman – the American Jonathan Ross – loves the band's song Eddie's Gun so much that he has invited them to play on his Late Show.


Booking an unknown band almost never happens, let alone one from Brighton, England. But he has personally requested it.


The recording will take place in New York tomorrow, going out to an audience of millions that same night. Max Rafferty, the bassist and most enthusiastic imbiber of this party-loving band, swilled down an apple martini to celebrate.


It was his second. It followed two vodka cranberries and a bloody Mary. "That's my five for the day then!" he grinned.


Then the band went on. Luke growled and snarled through punked-up versions of Naive and You Don't Love Me.


The combination of tour stir-craziness and excitement about Letterman translated into a savage, thrilling performance that slayed the packed crowd.


The band played some brand new songs – Oil, The Saboteur and a worldwide No 1 in-the-making, Do You Wanna Make Love (To Me).


Through the shrinking world of YouTube, most of the crowd already knew all the words. There was the modern-day equivalent of the glowstick frenzy as hundreds of mobiles were raised high to video the show.


Finally, the band closed with Sofa Song to applause so loud that it eclipsed the thunder outside.


Afterwards, back at their über-chic hotel, the fey receptionist keeps one eye on Max. He runs us through the hotel's "concept".


The ever-patient Luke asks if it includes a "bed concept". His voice is barely a croak. He is seriously run down. Everyone is anxious he's tucked up, dosed up and rested up before Letterman tomorrow.


Holding back his most exciting announcement until last, the clerk tells us that James Blunt is also staying at the hotel. Hugh Harris, the Kooks' lead guitarist, says, "That's so exciting." He turns to the others.


"Isn't it? I doubt I'll be able to sleep now. Maybe I'll just hang round the lobby and hope to bump into him."


The clerk looks thrilled with the reaction. The boys are gents; they save their stifled sniggering for the lift.


Max says, "I'd really like to nut him – but he's probably dead hard, isn't he? He's probably trained to tie you up in knots so you can only, like, walk sideways. On your hands."


Arriving at the soundcheck for Letterman the next day at 2pm sharp, we pull up outside the studios a few blocks north of Times Square.


The stage door is heavily guarded by seven or eight serious-looking doormen. To the left, there's a throng of paparazzi – at least 30 of them; to the right, hundreds and hundreds of fans.


Individual shrieks can be heard, then a roar as the band step off the bus. The Kooks wave gingerly and pose for the paparazzi. Jonny Kaps, the band's shock-haired US manager, works the ranks, repeatedly shouting: "Kooks – that's kay-oh-oh-kay-ess." The crowd start yelling even louder. Lindsay Lohan is sitting inside her limousine waiting for the band to go inside before she makes her entrance.


Eventually, the troubled movie queen emerges – she is tiny and alabaster white in her little black dress.


Patiently, she works the crowd, posing for snaps, but she also keeps one eye on the band. She hurries up to Luke: "The Kooks, right? Could I get passes for me and my friends for your show?"


Inside the green room, we glimpse the studio set for the Letterman show. An entire miniature Manhattan has been constructed, featuring a model Brooklyn Bridge as its centrepiece.


The band run through Eddie's Gun again and again and again. I'm really starting to worry about Luke's sore throat.


The floor manager has the band repeat their performance, take after take after take. If I were the management, I'd be getting angry – but the pros take it all in their stride.


They know Luke. From some inexhaustible well of resilience and talent, he always finds his voice, always magics up a show.


He pile-drives through Eddie's Gun eight times, until his throat is red raw but the Letterman people are happy.


Back in the dressing room, I ask Luke, pacing around now, if he's nervous. "No, no – why? I've done that song a thousand times. Why would I be nervous?"


But he is. His boyish face, framed by those curls, is tense as he tries to retreat inside his pre-gig safety zone.


On a normal night, road manager Tony Brookes would clear the room and start to psych them up. Here, a dozen assistants with clipboards brandish release forms and waivers. It's tense. There's so much at stake.


Letterman himself doesn't appear until seconds before the actual take, materialising out of a secret door and automatically going into "Letterman mode".


He gives the band a huge intro and this is it. Over the course of the next three minutes, the Kooks could take giant strides to making it in America. I'm only here to observe yet my heart is in my mouth.


Are they going to cut it live in front of the most demanding TV audience in the world? Are their nerves going to get the better of them? Is Luke's fragile voice going to hold out?


I needn't have worried. They are unbelievable. Letterman, clearly, is blown away. He turns to the middle of five huge cameras and says one word. "Wow!"


Once every five years, a British band makes it big in America. Radiohead did it; so did Coldplay.


Oasis and Blur both failed; so did Robbie Williams. The Arctic Monkeys can't even get a look in.


Another band that tried and failed in spectacular style was an outfit called the Farm. They were mine. As their manager, our big hits were Groovy Train and All Together Now, monsters that should have won us America – but very much did not.


The experience was so hilariously awful I wrote a book about it. Powder, in which a fictional band from Liverpool takes America by storm and then implodes under the pressure, is based upon that white-knuckle ride.


We very, very nearly cracked it in the US, and very nearly cracked up trying so hard. It's really tough, and great songs alone will not suffice. Because in America, rock and pop isn't a mood or a bit of fun. It's business. Big, big business. When you crack it, the rewards are untold. But, by God, you have to work for it.


The Americans respond to only one thing: an old-school ethic of touring, touring and more touring.


The promotional demands alone are relentless but, more than anything else, the US loves a band who can really rock them live – and to get that message across you have to play there, repeatedly, from coast to coast, top to bottom, and all points in between.


Not many Brit bands can hack that. US tour demands tipped Oasis over the edge and sent Noel Gallagher fleeing for the sanity of his own company.


The Farm launched their assault in the summer of 1994. San Francisco was the first stop on our 65-date tour in a bus called Hotel California.


We started working our way down the West Coast through Sacramento and Santa Barbara. But after mediocre crowds in LA and San Diego I knew in my bones that the band had lost belief in themselves – with five weeks still to go.


Then came our Letterman moment, and we blew it. WXRT, the biggest hit radio station in Chicago and one of the five key stations that can make or break a band, had invited us, in preference to the Stone Roses and Blur, to headline their summer festival.


Our record label emphasised, perhaps unwisely, that this was an opportunity that had to be converted. The band were always tight live, but this time they went to pieces. We left Chicago and knew we were finished in America.


Jonny Kaps, a hyper-energetic, sharp-witted Brooklyner, has seen too many Brit bands fall victim to their own hype.


What is cool and "now" in the UK is unlikely to cut much mustard in the dustbowls of Ohio and Kansas. To make it here you need songs, talent, a brilliant tour manager – and patience. This was the reality of life in the US that used to frustrate me terribly.


Everything revolved around building "a story" for the band. The story needed to have as many elements as possible – great buzz from college radio, good early signs from the taste-making alternative radio stations, sold-out shows, brilliant crowd reactions, awareness and organic, grass-roots (ie, unhyped) sales, plus good support from retail.


All of this would help persuade the big guns of MTV and the contemporary hit radio stations (which play chart music) to give you, instead of the next band, rotation on their channel.


It was almost a guarantee of success – but your part in "the story" was to deliver. Messing up, in any sense, was not an option – right down to the band's obligation, at times, to play an acoustic set at the MD's daughter's barbecue.


It's relentless and it's ruthless. And it's all down to the numbers. Jonny explains what "the story" means for the Kooks.


"Our plan for the guys is to get past 100,000 sales with Eddie's Gun. If we do that, it gives a great platform to push on and truly break through.


"In England, everything can happen real quick. You get NME and Radio 1 onside and the band can be huge almost overnight.


"Here, it takes time. A long time. In the UK, a major tour is three weeks. Three weeks here is a mini-tour. We want three months. Minimum. Preferably longer.


"And on each day of that tour, a band will be expected to do so much promo. Not just your standard interviews and TV shows – we want you to meet the people behind the scenes, the people who answer the phones at the radio stations, their sons and daughters.


"Not too many bands can get to grips with that, Brit or American, and to see it out the band has to really want it."


Do the Kooks really want it? Of all the up-and-coming and recently arrived young bands in Britain right now, I'm confident they are the ones who can take this colossal challenge by the scruff of the neck and kick-start a brand new British invasion.


If ever a band was born to cut it live, night after night, shocking and thrilling and rocking their crowd, it's the Kooks.


I'm sure they're made of all the right stuff and I, along with legendary Rolling Stone photographer Mick Rock, are on board their destiny bus to find out.


This tour has been extraordinary – every date sold out, fans singing along to every word, a riotous, euphoric introduction to the daunting world of Making It In The USA – but it's starting to take its toll.


The Kooks' tour bus is just like the mobile riot-house in Cameron Crowe's band-on-the-road movie Almost Famous.


Although ingeniously designed to include two lounges, a loo (liquids only), a teeny-weeny shower, a kitchenette and 12 bunk beds, it is cramped.


Lying on my bunk, I can touch the roof with my knees. Max is touring with his mercifully petite girlfriend, Tegan, but stretching out is not an option.


Instead – as the band do every night – they party. Whatever has been salvaged from the rider for the show – a crate of Sol lager, a couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, a tray of sandwiches – is passed around.


Luke sits down on the floor, Maton acoustic guitar in hand, and leads the merry throng through a roaming set that takes in Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochrane and (at my behest) the Kooks.


Drinks are quaffed and larynxes wrecked before people drift off to their bunks or settle down to drunken, labyrinthine conversations. Max's trademark 'plock' sound (a thunderous click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth) can be heard from the back of the bus.


I ask Armani-clad Paul – the only band member to flirt with designer clothing – if he's thought about how stupendously rich a US breakthrough could make them.


The Brighton foursome have toured almost non-stop since the 2006 release of their debut album Inside In, Inside Out, racking up sales of 1.5 million along the way. It's made them some cash. But, I tell him, an American No 1 will net them £1 million each from publishing royalties alone.


"We honestly don't think about that," replies Paul.


"I mean, if it was just about money, then the richest guy I know in music knocks up basslines for porno movies. Straight up. He's minted." Wherever the Kooks tour bus pulls up, dozens of fans – mostly female – are already lining up for the sell-out show.


"Hey! You guys rule! Awesome! You rock! I love your accent!" The fans react the same wherever we go. They see the bus, they stand up but they can't quite believe it's them.


In this respect at least, not much has changed since I trod this rocky path with the Farm. Girls would love your accent. Boys would tell you, "You rule". Everything was "awesome". Blissfully innocent of Brit band rivalries, they are decked out in Arctic Monkeys and Razorlight T-shirts (the Kooks and Razorlight don't exactly see eye to eye).


Cute college girls in floral print dresses stand back and let the diehards have their moment. They have grander designs.


The Kooks are terrifically young to be taking on a tour of this significance. Luke and Paul are both 22. Copper-haired Hugh, who plays each night with a vintage Gibson ES335, is a prodigy at 19.


And the daddy of the band is bassist Max at a near-senile 23. The Kooks are fortunate to have a road manager who, in the shape of the affable but no-nonsense Tony Brookes, is at various times shrink, father, confidant, shepherd, minder and entertainer.


Tony's is perhaps the critical role on the tour bus. Morale is everything.


Almost three weeks ago the tour started at the Coachella Festival in Palm Springs, with Danny DeVito and Cameron Diaz among those dancing beside the stage. (Luke does an uncanny impression of DeVito: "Hey, kid! You're better than the Kings Of Leon!") But that is beginning to feel like a long, long time ago for Luke.


As the tour has progressed he has become increasingly run-down from the extra demands expected of the band leader.


They have done nearly three weeks of back-to-back shows, travelled from one end of the country to the other, and been put through more than ten media interviews a day.


Add to that the after-show parties and little rest in a mobile motel and the result is proving a killer to Luke's immune system. "I need vitamins, man," he sniffs.


On the road, Luke will often hide himself away to work on a new song. Someone who laughs easily and is naturally gregarious, Luke often retreats inside himself as though striving for a safe place where he can recharge, ready for the next onslaught.


He rarely lets up, rarely allows himself to kick back and enjoy. Even in downtime he's driven by – or possibly addicted to – the compulsion to write and hone new songs.


Strumming a semi–acoustic guitar, he will repeat the same phrase over and over in different keys. It's this near-relentless drive that makes you believe this band has a real chance out here.


The Letterman performance was better than the management could have wished for, and at the after-party the entire entourage is in the swimming pool.


Jonny Kaps tries to demur but is hurled in fully clothed. Luke orders bellinis and, when the beano is taken upstairs to his 13th-floor suite, two bottles of champagne, two bottles of vodka, peach juice and a crowd of hangers-on go, too. It's a long and riotous night.


Kaps bangs on my door next morning wanting to know if I'm coming to VH1 (MTV's tasteful big brother) to watch the band's acoustic set.


When I was managing the Farm, this kind of scenario was where the band came unstuck. Overly enthusiastic to embrace the city and its nightlife, they often had to cancel PR and radio the following morning.


Quite simply, they couldn't be roused. If the Kooks can drag themselves up and put in a performance at VH1 then they're that rarest of rare breeds – a band who can party and work.


The good news is that Kaps tells me that Soundscan (the official sales tally by which the US charts are compiled and the barometer of a band's impact) is looking good.


At the start of the tour, the Kooks had shifted 60,000 records in the US; in the past week the pattern has upped to a steady 1,000 sales per day. Kaps, needless to say, has a friend who can access the numbers before they're 'officially' published, and the early indications are that the "Letterman effect" is already kicking in.


The bad news is that Luke is on his last legs. The band make their critical New York debut tonight at the legendary Irving Plaza, and Luke can barely stand. Kaps rushes him back to the hotel and calls for a doctor.


He asks if I can stand by and keep an eye on things. There's a hugely important phone call he has to make following a tip-off from Irving Plaza.


Kaps dashes out of the lobby, a riot of uncombed, fuzzy hair. While we're waiting for the doc, the stakes get higher.


Kaps phones back to update me about his urgent phone call. Word is that Ron Delsener, a legend on the New York live scene and the man who put the Beatles on at Forest Hills tennis club, is coming to tonight's show.


The stage manager at Irving Plaza says that Delsener caught the Letterman show last night and, if he likes what he sees tonight, will bring the band back in the autumn to play headline shows at much bigger venues. No pressure, then.


By 4.30pm, the band have been dispatched to the soundcheck, while Luke waits behind for the doctor.


He comes and administers vitamin jabs and orders Luke to lie down. Jonny Kaps calls and asks if I can bring Luke to the venue in a cab.


No problem, I tell him, secretly excited at being a manager all over again – but finding a cab amid the tumult of rush-hour Manhattan is easier said than done.


Not one single cab has its light on. Suddenly, ridiculously, Luke is in the middle of the road waving down a rickshaw.


Ten minutes later we're there. I'm still giggling when we get inside the fabled venue, walls festooned with shots of Eric Clapton, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix. Luke nods at a picture of Lou Reed. "Couldn't have him waiting for The Man, could we?"


7.38pm. Max is a bundle of energy at the best of times but, 90 minutes before the biggest show of his young life, he just can't take the tension. A mad idea comes to him. "Dylan Thomas," he says.


"What about him?" asks Hugh.


"He used to drink round here. He fell off the stool in the White Horse Tavern and died."


"Is that the sort of omen we're looking for, here?"


"Come on! Let's go!"


Mick Rock and I have to indulge him, but our progress is slow – girls keep stopping Max to tell him how great Letterman was last night.


9.06pm. A mobile rings. It's Tony Brookes. "Should you know the whereabouts of one Maxwell Rafferty, could you return him with all haste to the Irving Plaza where his arrival is eagerly anticipated."


We get him back there for 9.15. The crowd is already going wild. It's one of those incredible, big-gig atmospheres where everyone is up for it. A rhythmical clapping goes up. "Kooks, Kooks, Kooks, Kooks!"


And suddenly there's Luke. It's just him and a spotlight and his acoustic as he starts into Seaside, but he only gets two lines in before the entire crowd drowns him out, finishing off the ballad with a delirious singalong.


In spite of his earlier fragility, Luke is on fire again tonight. Dressed in black jeans, black vest and a new black tattoo, he tears up an enormous, gravelly howl from deep within. How does such a slight boy make such a blistering noise?


Fusing the bluesy howl of Neil Young with the tender soul of a young Robert Plant, he has the crowd stoked and rocking along to the raw power of his performance.


Next to him, Hugh blinds the crowd with coruscating guitar solos. Max holds it all together with his thumping, juicy bass and Paul looks like he's trying to catch flies on his tongue as he loses himself in a wild, Keith Moon virtuoso show.


Lindsay Lohan is up on the table, eyes screwed shut, shimmying away to Sofa Song alongside Keith Richards' supermodel-slim daughters Theodora and Alexandra.


Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows is pogo-ing madly. Everyone loves the Kooks tonight – even Razorlight. By the time the encore is played out, the old venue's chandeliers are swinging so hard they're in danger of crashing to the floor.


Everyone is all over them in the dressing room the moment the show is over. Bottles of Moët pop as Ron Delsener hooks his arm around Luke and Max and tells them they'll be playing Madison Square Garden in October. Max "plocks" his approval.


In the little side room, Jonny Kaps is madly tapping away at his laptop. Through a crack in the door I can see him bent over the keyboard, eyes darting left and right as he soaks up the information.


Finally, he sits back in his chair and takes a huge slug of breath. I can't tell whether it's good or bad, but moments later he barges back into the main dressing room with news of the latest Soundscan figures. "105,676," he says beaming.


Looks like the Kooks are almost famous. The Kooks play T In The Park on July 7 and V Festival on August 18 and 19. 'Powder' by Kevin Sampson is published by Vintage, priced at £6.99



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  • 6 months later...

The Kooks announce intimate dates



Band hit the road this month for low key shows


The Kooks have announced a handful of tiny gigs at the end of this month.


Tickets are on sale now but are only available from the venue box offices.


The dates are as follows:


Wrexham Central Station (January 29)

Morecambe Dome (30)

Leeds Brundell Social Club (31)


Meanwhile, the band will play two special dates in LA and New York in February.


The Kooks release their second album 'Konk' in April.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I finally got around to listening to the album today, and my verdict is 4/10


There isn't anything great on the album which sets it alight, sets it apart from the other nme bands, although it loses a star for having that bonus track being complete and utter rubbish, but apart from that last song, there isn't anything wrong with the album. Average middle-of-the-road playing it safe album.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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