Where Kokomo and Alvin Lee Intersect:
Who was Kokomo?
Kokomo were formed in May of
1973, directly from the ashes of two other bands,
“Arrival” and “Joe Cocker’s
Grease Band”. Their name was taken from an Aretha Franklin song called
“ First Snow In Kokomo”. Kokomo is a little town in Indiana, Illinois
The band was fronted by Tony
O’Malley. Kokomo was an amazing live band during the 1970’s before
they achieved great success and cross over appeal, even in the
It was great for dancing,
especially during the late evening hours for unwinding sweaty dancers.
The song “I Can Understand It” is a cover version of Bobby Womack’s
and it became their smash hit from their first – self titled album,
which was released in 1975.
Alvin Lee used the Kokomo
singers to great success on his 1974 live “In Flight” album.
As for me, I hate disco, dance
music and most cross-over music of any kind. But I found Kokomo to be
formed of excellent musicians, good vocals, funky jazzy rhythms and
just good time music in general. This band, was one of the top shelf
bands to come out of the 1970’s.
Most of all, their music still holds up as well today as it did back
then – which is so unusual and extraordinary. I’m impressed.
Record Mirror Magazine –
May 29, 1976
Kokomo Opening For The Average
At The Palace Theatre
An outstanding performance by
the Average White Band, was given in Manchester’s Palace Theatre, on
their first ever British tour. The all familiar chords of “Cut The
Cake” opened the show, and cut more than a little piece of applause
from the audience. This was followed by two tracks from the album,
“Cut The Cake” – “Schoolboy Crush” and “If I Ever Lose This Heaven”.
For the first time the band played their new single, “Everybody’s
Darling”. A fairly heavy number, enjoyable, but did not quite reach
the high standard of their previous hits. Then, a track from their new
album, reverted to the almost unique flavour Average White Band give
to their music. Their obvious enjoyment as they sang of tender loving
care, “TLC”- reached the audience and created an electric atmosphere,
which grew as the concert continued. Definitely, the most exciting
number was their rendering of, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” –
the encore to a standing ovation, which lasted eleven minutes. The
crowd left their seats, and were invited to a “sing-a-long with
Hamish” as he turned the microphone towards them. This almost slight
touch of humour completed the feeling of sheer delight throughout the
The support band “Kokomo”
proved to be a pretty fine act, varied in their material and they
certainly helped create the magnetic – “band / audience” involvement.
Review by Hon Perry