The Kooks keeping the music ‘Hunky Dory’
Brit indie rockers The Kooks should draw a big crowd to this weekend’s Chill Out Festival at Media City.
Although they have described themselves as a ‘pop’ band, boasting “catchy as hell” mainstream tunes such as ‘Naive’, they have also dabbled with the likes of rock and reggae. The band came together in Brighton just over 10 years ago and released their debut album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ in 2006.
It soared up the charts and since then Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris and Co have continued to produce the sort of precocious, but sometimes saccharine, sound that wins widespread appeal.
Named after David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’ album track ‘Kooks’, the band members share a love of The Police, the Everly Brothers and Funkadelic, all of which they have plumbed for inspiration.
It’s a game of musical hopscotch that lead guitarist Hugh Harris (above, left) tells 7DAYS is nowhere near exhausted.
“We used to be complete purists on the instrumentation side but now it is nice to embrace a lot of modern equipment,” he says.
“Many bands don’t care any more - on tour they’ve done the same thing a million times.” In the quest to find fresh hits, Hugh’s subconscious is scouring influences that are a little, well, kooky. He says: “I was made to sit down and watch musicals every weekend [as a child] so I am writing a song these days and I can hear ‘Mary Poppins’ come out and it’s kind of embarrassing.”
“There are some things I wouldn’t want to admit, especially not to an interviewer, like ‘The Sound of Music’.”
Another kooky fact - it’s likely that the English rockers will be on best behaviour at Chill Out because Hugh’s dad will be in the audience.
“My Dad lives and works in Dubai,” he explains. “He’s bringing his whole office down to see us so I don’t know what the gig will be like with a load of people from [oil firm] Shell there.”
The Kooks headline the two-day Chill Out Festival in Dubai, which starts Friday. Tickets from www.virginmegastore.me
Del La Soul - Friday
Get your funk on as 80s classic hip-hop crew Del La Soul hit the Chill Out stage with zany lyrics and some eclectic sampling. Tracks like ‘The Magic Number’ and ‘Me, Myself and I’ are guaranteed to get the crowd pumping as the Long Island trio blend humour with serious messages in songs like ‘Ghetto Thang’.
Tony Allen - Saturday
Tony Allen, along with Fela Kuti, is regarded as having created the pounding and funk-infused Afrobeat style. The Nigerian drummer started out in the 60s gigging in Lagos but his skills have seen him travel all over the world and collaborate with a range of artists including Groove Armada and Blur’s Damon Albarn.
Nikotin - Friday
Music fans who prefer their rock served on the heavy side can get their fix from Nikotin, while supporting the Dubai music scene in the process. The band’s energetic stage style has seen them support bands like Maximo Park and Nickelback. The boys are also playing at the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai this Friday.