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A Short Chat With Luke Out Of The Kooks...

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 22 July 2009


The West Country is a strange place. It exists outside of that whole north/south divide thing, containing as it does many areas of opulent wealth and many areas of post-industrial poverty. Also, the further south and west you go, the more you come across signs and remnants of lost civilisations, which never got wiped away by the passing of time (and humans with tractors). Things like stone circles, dolmens...why I have even seen an original 1980s goth with MY OWN EYES.

And last weekend, the Kooks, who are, in their own way, a tribute to times past, came down to Cornwall to play at the Eden project. They brought Ladyhawke with them, so it's was like a historical re-enactment from two different pop eras. Being friendly sorts, Luke and co also arranged a little interview time, and we sent Matt and Sophie - two cub reporters from BBC Blast - to go and interview them both.

Sadly, Phillipa 'Hawke couldn't make it, so here's what happened when Matt met Luke (and Sophie, still clutching her Ladyhawke question sheet, butted in...). It was a strange press-conference sort of affair, so please, be grateful for what they could get.

NOTE: If you are of a certain age, and not impressed with talk of the West Country, or the Kooks in general, you can always liven things up by imagining that this is a conversation between the two brothers from '80s cheekbone-pop band Bros (and Sophie Ellis-Bextor)...


Matt: So obviously you've been all round the country touring, how did it feel coming down to Cornwall, the 'deep south' of England, as it were?

Luke: The deep south! [laughs] I really like it, it's good, I feel a slight affiliation in some ways, because I spent a lot of time in the countryside when I was a kid. So it's really nice because we spend all our time in cities man, like ALL the time. You know what I mean? Flying airports, airports, airports, city, city, city, city, so it's nice.

Even festivals you know, you come and you're in a field but it's always nice, this whole vibe is very cool and we've always like, you know, when we went to Cornwall last time, just the way people are are very friendly. So we get on with that.

Matt: So is it strange seeing farms again? And strange, straw-hatted people?

Luke: A little bit! I had some really good chats with people today, the organisers and you know, they're just really soulful people. The great thing about the Eden Project - and it's probably different to what you asked - but I guess they set it up for a reason, to try and tell...I suppose it's come a long way since the year 2000...but talking about the planet and what's going on and I think it's really just done in a really positive way rather than that kind of trying to make you feel s*** about the fact the planet's dying and whatever.

It just seems like everyone's trying to be positive, it's good energy, and like those kind of words resonate a lot more in somewhere like Cornwall than in London.

Matt: So have you had any chances to try the local delicacies? Pasties? Cider?

Luke: We will! We've ordered some home-made Cornish pasties for after the gig.

Sophie: What flavour?

Luke: I think we've got an assortment! I'm hoping, I'm not particularly fond of lamb...

Sophie: Really?

Luke: Lamb and mint? Do you guys do that?

Matt: If you could have any ingredient, what could it be?

Luke: Any ingredient you can get in a Cornish pasty? Bloody hell, jalapeños! Well not jalapeños...just chillis. Anything hot! We've gotten into this whole thing of like, y'know, we'll just try and do as much chilli's as we can, it's quite fun!

Sophie: Have you met Ladyhawke?

Luke: Not yet! But I'd like to.

Sophie: Do you like her music?

Luke: I do! Well, yeah, of course!

Sophie: You might secretly not...

Luke: Well...I do! [laughs] I secretly do!



Important points arising from this exchange which it's probably worth clearing up:

1: Yes, lamb and mint is a flavour combination which has made it as far as Cornwall.

2: Much as his heart's in the right place, Luke is clearly not in a position to offer his services as a spokesperson for the green movement. Or indeed anything which involves finishing the sentence you've just started before starting another one. This transcript has been edited to save your poor eyes.

3: Fairs fair, he was probably quite tired.

Look, a gallery of Kooks pics from BBC Cornwall...
And another one, of Ladyhawke...



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