Formed in May 1973 by ex-members of the pop group Arrival (band), Kokomo's ten-piece line-up became: Dyan Birch (vocals), Frank Collins (vocals), Paddy McHugh (vocals), Tony O'Malley (keyboards, vocals), Alan Spenner (bass), Neil Hubbard (guitar), Mel Collins (saxophone), Jody Linscott (percussion), Terry Stannard (drums) and Jim Mullen (guitar). It drew personnel from defunct UK bands: Spenner and Hubbard from the Grease Band; Birch, McHugh, Collins and O'Malley from Arrival; and Collins from King Crimson. Kokomo built an early reputation in the UK pub rock scene. In 1975 it toured with Dr. Feelgood and Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers on the 'Naughty Rhythms' tour, and appeared at the Reading Festival.
Musicians who played with the band at different times included: Glen LeFleur (drums, The Olympic Runners), Tony Beard (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Chris Mercer (saxophone), Andy Hamilton (saxophone), Mark Smith (bass), Neal Wilkinson and Neil Conti / Pascal Consoli / John Sussewell (drums).
The band's first album, Kokomo, released in 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, Kokommo was unusual (among white soul bands)for its use of four featured vocalists. Stannard, Linscott and Mullen left after the first album. Kokomo's second album, released in January 1976, was viewed as a disappointment by the NME and the band quickly lost impetus. In January 1977 an indefinite hiatus was announced, band musicians going separate ways. Versions of Kokomo continued to perform until Spenner died in August 1991.
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