My Life In Travel: Luke Pritchard, lead singer of The Kooks

'I still love New York. You can get lost there'

First holiday memory?

A family holiday in Corfu. We stayed at one of the massive, all-inclusive resorts on the coast. All I remember is being left with loads of other children at the kids' club and being made to stand up and do a performance in front of all the adults one night; it was mortifying.

Best holiday?

Cuba. I went a few years ago with another musician friend of mine. We stayed in Havana for a few weeks and found the music scene really interesting. Everywhere we went, there was a little band playing in a bar somewhere. The locals taught us to play their son cubano and we taught them Buddy Holly songs. The buildings and the architecture make you feel like you've gone back in time.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Isle of Wight. We've played at the festival a couple of times but I've also got family in Newchurch, near Sandown. The island has its own microclimate so, if you're lucky, you can get almost Mediterranean weather. Ventnor is beautiful, too: a formerly grand seaside town, which is now a faded glory.

Ideal travelling companion?

My girlfriend. We went to the Amalfi Coast recently and also visited Pompeii. It was amazing walking through this perfectly preserved Roman town. She didn't really want to go but I dragged her there in the heat to see all the bodies frozen in time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I loathe sitting on a beach. It actually makes me quite anxious. I'd rather sit in the shade with a hat on. I prefer to be in places where there are things to keep me occupied.

Greatest travel luxury?

A decent travelling bag – I can't seem to get my sizes right. I really want something I can take away for a couple of days, that isn't too big and that I don't have to check in.

Holiday reading?

I've been reading Life by Keith Richards and I've also got the Patti Smith autobiography, Just Kids, lined up, too. When I'm away, I tend to read more escapist things though, like science-fiction novels – so I've re-read Philip K Dick's books a lot.

Where has seduced you?

I still really love New York. You can get lost there. I used to go on my own sometimes after we'd finished a tour to be alone for a bit. I ended up meeting lots of people that way, so now I have friends I can drop in on when I go back.

Better to travel or arrive?

Because I travel so much with the band, I find airports a nightmare now. I appreciate the reasons for security being there, but it's quite difficult sometimes. Everywhere feels homogenised when you travel a lot. But I do enjoy the feeling of freedom you get when you actually take to the skies.

Worst travel experience?

We were doing a series of acoustic gigs across the East Coast of America and got stuck on a train from Philadelphia to New York. The whole thing just stopped in the middle of the tracks. We had to walk for hours in the searing heat, with all our guitars and equipment, until we reached the next station. It did feel like we were in a Kerouac novel, though.

Worst hotel?

When we were recording our first album, we stayed at a place in Crouch End opposite the studio for about a month. It was pretty bad – communal showers and the type of place you didn't want to make eye-contact with the other clientele. Every single morning, all they served for breakfast was eggs – boiled, scrambled or fried. I honestly couldn't eat any more by the end of our stay there.

Best hotel?

The Hôtel Costes on rue St-Honoré in Paris. They always have a really nice crowd staying there, and manufacture their own perfumes, so all the halls smell fragrant. They have catacombs underneath with an amazing swimming pool, and there's always great house music playing in the courtyard at night.

Favourite drive?

Around the Isle of Wight. I've only just learnt to drive, so it still holds the novelty factor for me. The roads are open and it's really accessible – you can get from one side to the other in under an hour.

Best meal abroad?

A restaurant I went to for my 21st birthday in Japan. It's one of the oldest sushi restaurants in Tokyo – this tiny wooden building in the middle of all these modern skyscrapers. We sat in little booths and ate blowfish and then did karaoke afterwards. I sang Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie.

Dream trip?

I'm keen to visit Beijing. I've heard there's a resurgence of early-Nineties music and a whole new scene emerging there at the moment. I also think India would be quite an inspirational place to write songs. I'd like to visit during the Holi festival, where everyone throws paints and dyed powder at each other in the streets.

Favourite city?

Portland, Oregon. It's a really underrated city and not the most obvious place to go. It's got great fashion and loads of alternative rock bands – the Dandy Warhols are from there. The north-west has amazing landscape, too: mountains for skiing and then the coast not too far away.

Where next?

We're off to Los Angeles and the West Coast – doing some talk shows and catching up with our producer Tony Hoffer.

The new Kooks album 'Junk of the Heart' is released on 12 September on Virgin Records.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week