Rocker is nervous when son is in audience

The Kooks comprise (from left) Peter Denton, Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris and Alexis Nunez.
The Kooks comprise (from left) Peter Denton, Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris and Alexis Nunez. PHOTO: STEPHANIE SMITH

The Kooks' bass player Peter Denton says he seems to be seeking his five-year-old son's approval

In a reversal of roles, British musician Peter Denton, who has no problem performing in front of tens of thousands of fans, seems to be seeking his five-year-old son's approval whenever the boy is in the audience for his shows.

The bass player for British indie-rock quartet The Kooks tells Life on the telephone that he had cold feet at one of his recent gigs because his son was watching him.

"My older son is a fan. He's always humming Bad Habit and Down," says Denton, 34, referring to two songs from the band's fourth and most recent album, Listen (2014).

"He's the only person who makes me nervous when he comes to our shows. He's only five years old and I freak out. It's like I'm searching for a five-year-old's approval."

He was speaking to Life ahead of their show here next month.

  • BOOK IT / TIGER BEER’S
    UNOFFICIAL OFFICIAL
    PARTY OF SG50

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    WHEN: Aug 5, 6.30pm
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The Kooks - which also comprise singer-guitarist Luke Pritchard, guitarist Hugh Harris and drummer Alexis Nunez - will be headlining the Tiger Beer's Unofficial Official Party of SG50 party at Capitol Theatre on Aug 5.

They last played here at the Esplanade Concert Hall in 2012, a trip Denton remembers fondly. "It was great, man. Singapore's such an amazing city. I remember how clean everything seemed. We're kind of overwhelmed to be coming back. Hopefully, we'll get a bit of time to do a little bit of sightseeing."

The band formed a decade ago, naming themselves after one of British rock icon David Bowie's songs. Denton says they are more musically mature than when they started out.

He adds: "We still like to have fun but we work hard and, musically, we have changed dramatically."

For the upcoming gig, the band will perform not only songs from Listen, but also present their new approach to their older material, he says. "We play a lot of old songs but we've adapted them to fit. We use a lot of percussive elements on the new tunes, so we incorporated that into the older material as well."

The band's older material includes a few hits. Inside In/Inside Out, their 2006 debut album, was an immediate success, peaking at No. 2 on the British album charts and spawning Top 10 singles Naive and She Moves In Her Own Way.

Sophomore effort Konk (2008) did even better, topping the British album charts, while the title track of their third album, Junk Of The Heart (2011) earned them their first Top 20 hit song in the alternative music charts in the United States.

But growing older has obvious drawbacks for a touring band.

Denton says: "When you are younger, your body and mind can cope a lot easier. Back then, you can deal with a two-month tour in the back in the van. But now, two weeks in a lovely tour bus is a week too long."

He recently took time off from the band's tour to be with his wife, British model Portia Freeman, when she gave birth to their second son last month.

While he admits that it is hard for him sometimes to go on tour and be away from his family, he adds: "Although it seems like I'm away a lot, it's a good thing when I get back that I get that stretch of time with my family. It's like, I get to spend an extended holiday with them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2015, with the headline 'Rocker is nervous when son is in audience'. Print Edition | Subscribe