Dan & John provided the band with a new dimension, adding trumpet and sax to the catchy pop punk melodies. The first gig featuring the horn section saw the 2 new recruits dressingas FBI agents and holding up queue cards of lyrics during the set. This was atheme that followed throughout their performances with the band, featuring the 2 dressed as vicars on one occasion and in Hawaiian shirts (inspired by the bands live cover version of the Hawaii-5O theme tune) on another. The bandagain re-entered the studio and recorded 3 new tracks HEY JEN, SHAGGED and FEELING FINE, featuring the sound of the new horn section.
This resulted in SHAGGED being included on an unsigned band compilation CD called Ouch, released through company 25 Records,giving the band the exposure it needed. University beckoned for Stu and Phil in September 96 but the band still managed to keep up pace and the music industry interest grew. Deceptive Records showed an interest and boss Tony Smith made the trip up to Teesside to watch the band rehearse in their local college and loved what he saw. He sent the band back into the studio for a week long session and requested they record 3 tracks to see where they were headed. The band decided that as their song writing had been so prolific and had been used to recording up to 5 songs in a day that they would record 8 songs.
The resulting Chicken in the Shop E.P was a mixture of typical Helter Skelter pop punk, acoustic rock and a jazz funk instrumental. Unfortunately Deceptive didnt take to this and chose not to pursue their interest any further. Disappointment was short-lived however as, out of the blue, they received a call from Richard Rashman, head of Los Angeles based management company Prestige, who had heard the bands song on the Ouch compilation and was interested in working with and managing them.The band met and performed for Prestige soon after on the companies trip to London, and joined the Prestige ranks alongside LA band Neve. The next coupleof years were fairly sporadic for the band as university commitments had to bejuggled, but they continued to work hard with Prestige and spend a lot of time writing, recording and working onnew material in the studio. They did still have time for some high profile gigs though, playing at Radio 1s Sound City 98 in Newcastle, a showcase gig at Middlesbroughs Arena in front of an impressed Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq, as well as gigs further afield.
This period also saw the unfortunate departure of Dan, and later John, due to increasing university pressures. So with the loss of the horns, but with the encouragement of the management company, the band continued to develop as a band and created a more refined, powerpop / indie sound. The band became full time once again in summer 99 when Stu & Phil graduated and a home studio was created where they were constantly working on ideas and songs and were also asked to submit a cover version of a Catherine Wheel track to be included on their forthcoming tribute album. The band chose to rework the Catherine Wheel classic 'Balloon', with positive feedback from all involved in the project. So stillwith the backing of Prestige, the 4-piece continued to raise their profile, impressing music industry people at Teessides T99 industry event and creating positive press at every turn.
With this in mind, Prestige sent the band to London to record with top producer Harvey Birrell, who had previously worked with Therapy and King Prawn. During the first session the band recorded two tracks, ALONE and BRIGHT which were quickly becoming crowd favourites live and were showing the bands more mature sound. Because of this change in direction the band and management also decided it was time to change the name of the band, to shed the old skin and start afresh. And so Skeat was born...
So on the strength of the latest songs, the newly renamed band were given a slot at the prestigious industry event, In The City 2000 in Manchester in September 2000. The band played to a packed venue full of the UKs music industry and received praise in the following days daily edition of the events Tip Sheet. Following this positive response, the band returned to London in early 2001 to record again with Harvey, on a new song JUST ANOTHER ONE NIGHTSTAND which they had performed at In the City. Early discussions with management about the possibility of releasing it on limited edition single had taken place but eventually never happened.
However, at the bands first London gig, they were approached by an A&R guy for a new internet based company, Ruffworld, who were due to launch early the following year. They had been keeping an eye on the band for a while andwere interested in getting them on board and releasing JUST ANOTHER ONE NIGHTSTAND as a single. Over the new few months, the band played more greatly received London gigs and returned to the studio with Harvey to record newly penned track, NEW DIRECTION with guest backing vocals being provided by James Bourne from Prestiges new young band Busted. Unfortunately, the pressures of life on Teesside, and long term relationships were beginning to take its toll and the end of 2001 saw the band stretched as Stu moved to London and the relationship with Prestige weakened. The band continued to operate long distance and early 2002 Ruffworld invited the band to London to record a promo video for JUST ANOTHER ONE NIGHT to be used on their website as part of the companys official launch.
The video was added to the site but complications forced the company to delay its launch. It was becoming increasingly difficult to coordinate the band members over such a distance and demand to get a proper job became too much for the boys to handle, and in mid 2002 Skeat decided to call time on their 7year adventure. All the members remain good friends and all do still play together in one guise or another. Guy Malloy 2005 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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