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Country United Kingdom

Style Hard Rock

KOOGA were formed in the early eighties as PREACHER a four piece guitar based blues/rock band. The band included singer and lead guitarist Neville MacDonald, bass plyer David Howells, drummer Martin Williams and guitarist Ian Palfrey. Playing a mixture of original and cover numbers the band drew their influences from the likes of Free, Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top and Rory Gallagher.

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. A strong local following led to sell out gigs at venues such as Tonapandy Naval Club, Bogies Rock Club, Llanharran Rugby Club and Caerphilly Checkmate. 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 patnership 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 dubut 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.

irstly came Anthony Bollard who appeared for the Parc and Dare concert filmed by HTV Wales and then Gerwyn Howley. 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 successfull band SKIN with numerous top ten singles and chart albums. The re-release of their debut album has rekindled the spirit in KOOGA and SKIN with new sales and an interest in more material to come. SKIN are to reform for the Download Festival in 2009…


– Across The Water [1986]
– Don’t Break My Heart [1988] 7″


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KOOGA, 8.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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