As British indie bands such as Pale Waves, Shame and Wolf Alice continue to fight tooth and nail to rightfully claw their way up Reading & Leeds Festival lineups, they must be relieved to see who has managed to not just cling onto high billing, but received continued affection. The Kooks, The Wombats and Courteeners all bagged Main Stage placings last weekend – a decade since they burst onto the scene in the mid-noughties.
The Kooks have arguably been the most successful. A Greatest Hits Tour at the tail-end of last year saw them take in huge venues, including Wembley Arena, and their last three records – released in 2011, 2014 and 2017 – all broke into the Top 20 in the UK Album Charts. How? Well, streaming is perceived to have played their part. Both old and new songs from The Kooks, from 2006 through 2016, have found their way into Spotify’s biggest playlists such as’ Feel-Good Indie Rock’, ‘Indie Rock Club’ and ‘Sing-Along Indie Hits’, introducing them to a new audience.
Your tolerance for the Brighton band’s fifth album, ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’, will depend on your familiarity with them. If it’s your introduction to them, there’s likely just about enough to convince you to dig a little further. Lead single ‘All The Time’ is a driving slice of indie-pop that’s likely to continue go down well at their live shows, while ‘Honey Bee’ is a sugary-sweet love ballad primed for end-of-summer playlists.
But if you’re a survivor of the ‘00s indie scene, there are no new tricks here that’ll stump you. The by-the-numbers feel of ‘Four Leaf Clover’ makes us feel like the unlucky ones, and ‘Tesco Disco’ should have been left in the reduced section. Perhaps none of this matters – a below-par album will do little to halt The Kooks being one of the biggest British indie bands of the last decade. But we deserve better, surely?