Art Brut: “Art Brut, Top of the Pops!” Eddie Argos and co’s shows regularly culminatinated in chants for the Deptford band to launch a takeover of the pop world. That sadly never materialised, but their jangly art-rock influence lives on.
Test Icicles: Before Dev Hynes became the hipster pop star’s songwriter of choice, rubbing shoulders with Beyonce and Jay Z as collaborator to Solange, he was in this colourful trio, who’s fluorescent dance-rock was a favourite among the Myspace generation. Rory Atwell from the band has gone on to become producer to some of the UK’s brightest new indie talents, including Palma Violets.
The Bravery: Everyone remembers ‘An Honest Mistake’, right? The Bravery’s moody disco-pop was short-lived but singer Sam Endicott has since enjoyed success behind the scenes – in 2009 he co-wrote Shakira’s global smash ‘She Wolf’ single. He’s recently started a new band called The Mercy Beat.
5The Young Knives
The Young Knives: Ashby-de-la-Zouch trio the Young Knives signed to Transgressive and released a string of popular singles, peaking with top 35 single ‘Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)’ in 2006. In 2013, they worked with Kickstarter to crowd-fund new album ‘Sick Octave’.
6The Cooper Temple Clause
The Cooper Temple Clause: These Berkshire terrors rose to prominence with 2002’s critically acclaimed ‘See Through This And Leave’, winning a cult following with their sleazy post-punk. They disbanded in 2007 after three LPs.
The Music: Hailing from Leeds, The Music’s success peaked with a No. 4 slot in the UK album charts following the release of their eponymous debut album in 2002. A year later, they stormed the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. The band split in 2011, with singer Robert Harvey deciding instead to focus on his collaborations with the Streets’ Mike Skinner.
Forward Russia: This frantic Leeds brigade laid the groundwork for fellow Yorkshire rippers Pulled Apart By Horses with their noisy, if slightly more emotive, brand of firecracker rock anthems. Frontman Tom now works as a producer with upcoming British talent like Big Scary Monsters’ math-rock crew Talons.
Longview: Manchester four-piece Longview scored a cult hit with 2002 debut album ‘Mercury’, which featured singles ‘Still’ and ‘Further’, which was featured on US teen drama One Tree Hill. The band are listed as having never split up, but haven’t released an album since 2005.
10Late of the Pier
Late of the Pier: Winners of no fewer than three NME Awards, this Castle Donington four-piece specialised in guitar-led dance-punk, and toured with Kaiser Chiefs, Soulwax, Hadouken! and more.
Von Bondies: Best remembered for a public brawl outside a bar with Jack White, who produced their first album ‘Lack Of Communication’, the Von Bondies’ Jason Stollsteimer was one of indie’s most prominent faces for a period in the ’00s, scoring a mainstream hit with ‘C’mon C’mon’ in 2004. The band split in 2011.
The Subways: ‘Young For Eternity’, this trio’s first album, came out in 2005, providing festival anthems in the form of ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Queen’ and ‘Oh Yeah’. A new single, ‘My Heart Is Pumping to a Brand New Beat’ dropped earlier this year.
13Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong
Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong: Support to The Cribs on the 2008 NME Awards Tour, Maxim Barron, Dominic O’Dair and Tom Dougall eventually ditched the poppier sound of Joe Lean to form the gloomy, psych-inspired Toy.
14Hope of the States
Hope of the States: ‘The Lost Riots’, Hope Of The State’s debut album, has stood the test of time remarkably well – a profound gloom-rock precursor to bands like Editors and I Like Trains. They split in 2006.
15The Polyphonic Spree
The Polyphonic Spree: Blurring the line between band and cult, Texas choral group The Polyphonic Spree scored a hit with ‘Soldier Boy’, featured in films like Michel Gondry’s ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. Among their number, if you can believe it, was a pre-fame Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent.
The Datsuns: New Zealand hard rockers The Datsuns were named Best Live Band at the NME Awards after the release of their 2002 debut. They’re still going but 2004 single ‘Harmonic Generator’ remains their biggest track.
Jet: Australia’s Jet sold 6.5 million albums on the back of gargantuan single ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’. You know the one. They split in 2012.
Jack Peñate: Where is Jack Peñate? This cheery indie-pop troubadour was one of XL’s big hitters before the label became the ultra cool home to brooders like the xx and Radiohead it is today. On January 7th 2014, Peñate replied to a fans’ tweet asking: “are you alive and making music anymore?”. Peñate replied: “yes to both” so look out for a possible imminent comeback.
Electric Six: This novelty rock crew are responsible for ‘Gay Bar’, the kitchsy anthem that became a mid ’00s festival crowd singalong staple. Little know fact – Jack White co-wrote that song. Another XL Recordings signing.
My Vitriol: Debut album ‘Finelines’ was a sophisticated, critically acclaimed indie-pop gem, but it sadly never really took off for My Vitriol, who are still together and earlier this year played London’s XOYO.