Before they knew it the band were on stage at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire supporting Foo Fighters, and had their first tour lined up as guests of Green Day. Fierce Panda Records were soon on the case, releasing two 7” singles - ’Always Echoes’ and ’Paper Eyes’ - both were given hearty support from XFM and gathered a flurry of great reviews. The summer of 1998 saw them very prevalent on the festival scene with appearances at Glastonbury, T in the Park and Reading festivals. Shortly afterwards a deal with Beggars Banquet was signed and sealed. The first single for Beggars ’Big Wheels’ was released in January ’99 and coincided with the NME Bratbus tour with UNKLE, Idlewild and Delakota. The debut album ’Dead Letter Chorus’ was released in June 1999 to great media praise. Recorded at Sawmills Studio in the Cornish wilderness, it featured singles ’Always Echoes’ , ’Big Wheels’, ’Get the Keys and Go’ and ’Yellow’. The year following ’Dead Letter Chorus’ saw Llama Farmers play dates across Europe and make their first trip to the States.
Most of the time though has been spent locked in the studio hatching incredible musical ideas and nurturing them into fruition. The result, ’El Toppo’ , is released on October 23rd 2000 and contains Llama Farmers’ finest songs to date blending their signature stop-start dynamics with lurching, jagged guitars and invigoratingly melodic pop hooks. The band sadly disbanded after 'El Toppo'. Reviews were disappointingly indifferent, especially NME who had been a keen supporter of the band, retracting it's kind words for a harsher vocab. Since then Bernie Simpson has taken on a more peculiar musical root playing country-fried songs with Vizzini, who have yet to make any waves. All four original Llama Farmers are once again playing together as a "new" band named Letters. Full details and a few tracks from the band can be found on their MySpace page: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=67113441 The "new" band might may also now be Bear Hug (2008) http://www.myspace.com/bearhugmusic Read more on Last.fm.
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