For a band that were hotly tipped and loved in the early 90s and almost broke into America at the height of indie pop, Kingmaker soon fell from the heights of fame. Now sadly largely forgotten, the band rode the crest of the wave from 1991 to 1995 and could have been big. Now, if they're here it's because the ony way you'll hear them is if you spend £3 on ebay and hope for the best.
The best biography you'll stumble across in the internet and the only real site written by a real fan is:
"Formed in 1990 in Hull, North Humberside, England. Disbanded in 1995.
Teenage schoolmates in Hull, England, Loz Hardy (guitar/vocal) and Myles Howell (bass) placed a want-ad for a drummer and met John Andrew. The rocking Brit-poppers began playing and touring together, gradually picking up a following around Great Britain. After signing a record deal, the band released Eat Yourself Whole, later landing an American deal with Chrysalis. Sleepwalking, their sophomore album, was released in 1993. The group called it quits after the 1995 release of Best Possible Taste, their commercially disappointing third album."
Wikipedia says that in 1991 "With a fan following building up, and lyrical austerity in their melodic music, they were tipped by some as the "next big thing"; but by 1995 "...despite their promising debut, the band rapidly fell out of favour. Paul Heaton of local stars The Beautiful South heavily criticised them as being middle class pretenders, and the rot set in thereafter."
We do know that Loz Hardy had a nervous breakdown before recovering and writing songs with and for Elastica (who are playing on the radio as I type this, so it appears that they're remembered at least) after the band were royally screwed over by their record company.
Anyway. To remember Kingmaker in all their scratchy vinyl glory, here's Eat Yourself Whole, from the Killjoy Was Here EP from 1991. A true classic which, until I started rummaging around in the cupboard, I'd forgotten how good it was. Ahh, the happy memories of jumping around in the Cellar Bar at Manchester University... whole, whole, Eat yourself whole...
Kingmaker - Eat Yourself Whole.
[Update, 21st June 2007] I had to drive 250-odd miles today for work, so to alleviate the boredom I had my mp3 player with me and was listening to the miscellaneous bits and bobs I've collected. One of them was the aforementioned Eat Yourself Whole and I'll be honest, I listened to it five times in a row it's that good.
I'd almost go so far as to say it's my new favourite indie pop song.