Eleven years after the debut album that introduced The Kooks as teenage contenders for the indie pop crown, the band’s singer and chief songwriter is considering the distance travelled – personally and creatively – between then and now, and admits that only recently has he “turned a corner” and learned to fully appreciate their breakthrough release.
“You’re always running forward, and you don’t want to look back,” he explains, “and I think every album that we did after ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ was us trying to get away from that album, trying to move and do different things. But I think I’ve turned around, and I guess there has been a good amount of reflection on it, and just feeling very positive about what happened.”
For the uninitiated, what happened was a five-times Platinum record that landed amid a lucrative period for British guitar music, in which The Kooks’ deft hooks and playful energy – abundant in tracks like ‘Eddie’s Gun’, ‘Ooh La’, ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ and ‘Naïve’ – found an instant audience. Luke – along with guitarist Hugh Harris, bassist Max Rafferty and drummer Paul Garred – effectively graduated overnight from college to cover stars.