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Simon Breed - JPop.com
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Simon Breed

Simon Breed

Simon Breed


Simon Breed began The Birthmarks when, some time after the demise of his critically-acclaimed band Breed, he took himself to New York with an acoustic guitar and a cheap keyboard from Brixton Market, to test his mettle with solo gigs in the East Village. After going down a storm, he returned to London to play with the occasional assistance of talented multi-instrumentalist John Sullivan on keyboards. The idea was to keep gigging until Simon had accrued enough people to form a band, while still regularly performing solo. Read more on Last.fm
Simon Breed began The Birthmarks when, some time after the demise of his critically-acclaimed band Breed, he took himself to New York with an acoustic guitar and a cheap keyboard from Brixton Market, to test his mettle with solo gigs in the East Village. After going down a storm, he returned to London to play with the occasional assistance of talented multi-instrumentalist John Sullivan on keyboards. The idea was to keep gigging until Simon had accrued enough people to form a band, while still regularly performing solo. Matthew Wolverine took over from John on keyboards before moving on to guitar, and Matthew's extraordinary playing, in turns achingly beautiful and white hot with shards of noise, soon became an essential element of the Birthmarks.

Hailing from New Zealand, where he was in a series of experimental bands, Matthew is a talented essayist and member of the Mean Streaks, a violently beautiful semi-improvisatory band. Simon and Matthew gigged regularly as a duet in the beginning, playing guitar, harmonium, keyboards and a toy piano, in sets that grew from fractured torch songs such as "The Girl Who Disappeared" to the Suicide-style burnout of "Star of Nepal". The line-up fluctuated for a while, briefly augmented by Liz Corcoran, 'Murder Ballads' backing vocalist and member of Congo Norvell on violin, Andrew Park, ex-Breed and Dream City Film Club bass man, Kathryn D of the Mean Streaks, and Neville Elder. After the inevitable rotation of drummers, the band was completed by LA-born Thomas Pitman. John Sullivan returned to the fold, playing bass, piano and whatever else is required. The current line-up has now been together for almost two years.

Packed gigs on the London circuit, including a series of dates at the Water Rats entitled 'Into the Flames!', and in Brighton, Liverpool and Glasgow have helped build a loyal and fervent following. The band began this year recording tracks in an abandoned school on the Tottenham High Road with John Wills manning the 8 track. At the request of Mick Harvey, they spent the spring of 2001 on tour as support to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, starting with dates around Sweden and Norway and ending with three wildly-received performances opening for the Bad Seeds at the Brixton Academy. A self-financed CD of "My Eyes Have seen the Glory", "Silvered Surface" and "The Girl Who Disappeared" was put out under the band's own steam and sold out of the Rough Trade shops within weeks.

Follow-up gigs at the Arts Cafe and 93 feet east hint at the glory to come; a second EP featuring "Cunts, Pricks, Wankers and Shits" and an album is planned for the remainder of the year, along with dates around the North and Scotland. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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