With the roar of arenas echoing in his ears and 1 billion streams rattling around his pockets, Luke Pritchard shakes his tangled locks with the disbelief of the charmed, as amazed as anybody that 2018 is The Kooks’ time to shine.
“In the middle of making this album, the band became big again,” he says. “I don’t know how the fuck that happened. We were making an album to save ourselves, and it gave us confidence towards to end. I didn’t feel vindicated or ‘I showed them’, it just felt right. It felt like something had happened.”
What had happened? A new streaming generation of young, uncynical indie pop fans came to Kooks classics like ‘Naïve’ – ten years in the Spotify Top 200 and counting – via bands like The 1975, Blossoms and Catfish & The Bottlemen and loving their suave, sunny guitar pop crackle. New singles such as 2017’s ‘Be Who You Are’ racked up 1.5 million hits in weeks, Alexandra Palace sold out in seconds, last year’s ‘Best Of… So Far’ compilation warranted its very own sold-out UK arena tour. Suddenly, without permission, The Kooks were a modern pop phenomenon. Again.