KOOGA were formed in the early eighties as PREACHER, a four piece guitar based blues/rock band. Playing a mixture of original and cover numbers the band drew their influences from the likes of Free, Bad Company, Thin Lizzy. In 1983 Guitarist Ian Palfrey was replaced by Keyboard player Neil Garland and a turn in musical direction led to a more keyboard based melodic rock sound.
The need to completely move away from cover material came in 1985 and a change of name and image quickly followed. The name KOOGA and the partnership with management team Flying V Promotions saw the band move out of Wales and start touring the UK. After numerous sell out gigs at London’s Marquee Club the band were creating a buzz in the then London controlled record business. Unable to secure a deal with a British label they signed to Independent French label Black Dragon.
The release of the their debut album “Across The Water” in 1986 raised their profile higher by making the top ten charts of the NME and Kerrang magazines. To strengthen the sound more and release Neville to concentrate on vocals a second guitarist was added to the band.
More sell out gigs at The Marquee Club got the band noticed enough to be asked to play the Reading Rock Festival in the summer of 1987. Great reviews of the festival followed but this was to be the last gig for this line up of the band. Neil Garland and David Howells were replaced by a number of new musicians but apart from the re-release of the single “Don’t Break My Heart” in 1988 the band lost their momentum and broke up in 1989. Singer Neville MacDonald moved on to form the succesfull band SKIN with numerous top ten singles and chart albums.
1. Across The Water
3. Fall From Grace
4. Lay Down Your Love
6. She Walks In Beauty
8. Like I’ve Never Known
David Howells – Bass
Martin Williams – Drums
Neil Garland – Keyboards
Neville MacDonald – Vocals, Guitar
Kooga – Across The Water (1986)
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