The Kooks are a British rock band that formed in 2004. They’re classified as alternative rock and generally grouped under the subgenre “Britpop.” While the foursome draws inspirations from a wide range of artists, and dabbles in a bunch of different genres, the best way to describe them is Arctic Monkeys-lite. The Kooks have also been compared to The Kinks, Thin Lizzy, The Libertines, and The Fratellis.
The Kooks released their first album, Inside In/Inside Out in 2006. That was followed by Konk in 2008—their sophomore effort was named after the recording studio they used. The band issued their third collection of new songs in 2011. It was titled Junk of the Heart. After a lengthy hiatus from the studio, and from selling Kooks tickets, the group discharged their fourth studio effort, Listen, in mid-September of 2014. The band is very popular in their native U.K., but across the pond in the United States they must settle for a small but fervent following.
The Kooks, named after a David Bowie song, were formed on a lark while Luke Pritchard (lead vocals and guitar) and Paul Garred (drums) were clothes shopping. They soon recruited schoolmates Hugh Harris (lead guitar) and Max Rafferty (bass). Garred and Rafferty have since left the band. Peter Denton is now their bassist. Their current drummer is Alexis Nunez.
The Kooks recorded an EP they hoped would land them some gigs. Instead, it found its way into the hands of managers and record companies. After being together for just four months, the band was signed by Virgin Records.
The Kooks released their first album on the same day the Arctic Monkeys released Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. You might think this would be a bad coincidence for The Kooks but they actually loved it. The Arctic Monkeys garnered all the attention allowing The Kooks to come in under the radar. As a young band they appreciated being in the shadows. Even so, their debut opus peaked at number two in the U.K. and was eventually certified 4x platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.