Kokomo are a British band whose members were prime exponents of British soul in the 1970s. They released three albums. Formed in May 1973 by Tony O'Malley and Terry Stannard, ex-members of the pop group Arrival, Kokomo's ten-piece line-up became: Dyan Birch (vocals), Frank Collins (vocals), Paddy McHugh (vocals), Tony O'Malley (keyboards, vocals), Alan Spenner (bass, vocals), Neil Hubbard (guitar), Mel Collins (saxophone), Jody Linscott (percussion), Terry Stannard (drums) and Jim Mullen (guitar). Spenner and Hubbard were from (Joe Cocker’s) Grease Band, Birch, McHugh, F. Collins and O'Malley from Arrival, and M. Collins from King Crimson.
The band's first album ‘Kokomo’ (1975) was hailed by the NME as the best debut by a British band for several years. Inspired by the tight disciplined playing of Spenner and Hubbard, Kokomo were unusual among white soul bands, for their use of four featured vocalists. In 1975, Bob Dylan recruited the band to help record his ‘Desire’ album. Both albums had sold poorly in Britain, but charted in the United States. In January 1977 an indefinite hiatus was announced. The last studio album, released in 1982, contained the minor hit single "A Little Bit Further Away".
(Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links To Peel
Looking back on the first half of the 1970s, Peel observed that many bands of that period were made up of ex-members of earlier bands, and Kokomo epitomised that tendency - in addition to the names listed above, guitarist Jim Mullen had done Peel sessions with Pete Brown and Piblokto! and Brian Auger's Oblivion Express.
Like many bands of a similar background, they made their name on the pub-rock circuit before graduating to larger venues. Peel liked them enough to book them for three sessions in 1974-75, but, judging by available playlists, doesn't seem to have played many records by them. Despite their 1977 "hiatus", the band resumed gigging, had a minor hit single in 1982 and continued to perform with varying line-ups into the 1990s - although by then Peel had lost interest in them.
Festive Fifty Entries
Three sessions. No known official release.
1. Recorded 1974-08-15. First broadcast 22 August 1974.
- I'm Sorry Babe / Forever / It Ain't Cool To Be Cool / Angel
- Good To Be Alive / Oo-Ee-Baby / Cos We've Ended Now As Lovers / New Morning
3. Recorded 1975-09-02. First broadcast 08 September 1975.
- Do It Right / Kitty / Pinch Of Salt / Happy Birthday
Other Shows Played
- 24 February 1975: unknown track