The Kooks head to The Middlesbrough Empire this month so Lee Allcock caught up with frontman Luke Pritchard to speak about the new album, the music industry and playing intimate dates.
You’ll be playing just five intimate tour dates this month, so why did you choose Middlesbrough?
We wanted to play in places that we haven’t really played – I think we’ve only played in Middlesbrough once. We also wanted to play in places where we can see the whites of people’s eyes – and we love these intimate, sweaty gigs.
What can we expect from your set at The Middlesbrough Empire?
We’ll definitely play ‘Naïve’, I can guarantee it, but we’ll also be playing some tracks from the brand new album and some more of the old ones. We really want to take the new album out and it’s going to be cool for us as we haven’t played them live yet. It should be rocking as these intimate venues are great places to go.
You’re due to release your fifth album, ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’, so what can we expect from it in terms of its sound and lyrical content?
It’s a proper Britpop album and I don’t think you’re going to hear another album come out this year that’s anything like it – I’m really proud of it. It’s a guitar record and it’s very uplifting, playful and cheeky and it’s got a few kind of ‘Jackie Bit Tits’ moments. It’s quite an eclectic album which is just how a Britpop album should be.
The album is very personal, so did you find it hard to open up?
There are some personal songs and there are some songs that are completely fabricated and made up nonsense including the likes of falling in love with a mental patient, but then there are songs about falling in love for real too. I think, really, as a songwriter it’s kind of your job to be open; I’m not saying that every songwriter does that, but, personally, I feel like it’s important to share your life experiences through your songs.
You’ve acquired over 1 billion streams worldwide, you must be proud of that…
Mate, I’m just waiting for the money to come in (laughing). I mean, you can’t quite quantify those numbers, can you? It’s probably just my mum playing our tracks on repeat all day every day.
And finally, you’ve been part of the music industry for quite some time now, so what advice would you like to pass onto those who are just starting off?
Simple: Buy a guitar as we need more guitar music. Honestly, though, you’ve got to believe in yourself because if you don’t then nobody else will. I was always told that I’d never make it and I can’t quite believe I’m in a band and people like my music, but it happened.
The Kooks’ Middlesbrough date is now completely sold out but you can buy the new album at all major online retailers.