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Friday, 6 April 2007

Kingmaker

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.

12 comments:

  1. I fucking loved Kingmaker. Apparently it was noted at the time that I looked a bit like the bass player. This isn't why I liked them, just a coincidence.

    I saw them live at Sheffield Polytechnic, for a quid.

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  2. Dan Whitehead23 August, 2007

    Back in 1993, when I was doing Radio Production at the mighty Warrington Collegiate Institute (also in my class: Comedy Dave), I tried getting an interview with a band. I scanned through NME and wrote letters to the management of any bands that were on tour at that time. Kingmaker were the only ones to write back, putting me on the guest list for their gig in Hull that weekend. Unfortunately, as a piss-poor student I had no way of getting to Hull at such short notice, so I missed out on interviewing Kingmaker. I also missed out on interviewing their support act - some bunch of chancers from Oxford called Radiohead.

    True story.

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  3. ChainsawWookie27 August, 2007

    I remember the tour with Radiohead, a very messy night at The Junction in Cambridge. For some reason, I always used to go and see Kingmaker, but very rarely bought any of their records, have got a gig freebie 7" somewhere though, must dig it out !!

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  4. Love your site, some great tunes on here.

    I had the misfortune to meet Kingmaker once. To be fair the drummer was a nice bloke. That bass player and that ponce that sang and played guitar were a pair of wankers. Even then the drummer sat away from them.

    In fact, I can envisage them looking themselves up on the internet fairly regularly, in which case - Hello, the two blokes from Kingmaker who weren't the drummer. I can't imagine you've become nicer people in all this time, so I'm here to tell you - you're even bigger wankers than you were back then.

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  5. Love this song so much, haven't heard it for years, have 'to hell with humdrum' but forgotten all about this track.

    Love the website, found it through the internet magazine, 'Webuser' in last fornight's issue 11-24th October 2007.

    Keep up the good work.

    Ady
    www.myspace.com/adycolclough

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  6. it might have been commercial catastrophic, but In The Best Possible Taste did contain You And I Will Never See Things Eye To Eye, which is one of the best 'epic' songs ever.

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  7. Bandana Kev (those were the days!)19 July, 2009

    Went to see The WonderStuff in 199(mumble mumble), possibly '91 for their SleighTheUK tour. Turned up in Brixton and my mates said "let's have a couple pints in the pub first" and we stayed so long we missed the support who were KingMaker.... drat!

    Next time we went to the Brixton Academy to see The Levellers, I insisted on seeing the support act. Some band called Maximillian and they were truly sh*te!!!

    Another 'support act nightmare' was going to see Thousand Yard Stare at T&C and haing to sit through 2 hours of some poxy hypnotist!!!! We nearly got thrown out for heckling.

    Any chance of some Real People.... or Airhead?

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  8. hi im the son of john andrew (the drummer) and i think there songs are awsome

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  9. John Andrew Jnr.. Would you ask your dad to email me about a record I have coming out - helen@hlp19.co.uk ??

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  10. Rumour has it Kingmaker will be back in action next month!
    cheers!
    Mick Mercer

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  11. Think it's two thirds of the band... http://www.wegottickets.com/event/89784

    And they have a song out: http://www.roughtrade.com/site/shop_detail.lasso?search_type=sku&sku=330187

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  12. Dont care what they were like as blokes (ref, Anon quote from 2007), they were fantastic live and on record, and havent dated in my very humble opinion. All 3 albums are monumentally good still and statues should be erected somewhere for all but pigeons and a few in the know to ignore.

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