This instalment of local band of the month is a sad one. The Sunshine Underground; one of Leeds’ greatest ever bands and one of the country’s most underrated acts, have announced that they are to split. For a band with such musical quality, The Sunshine Underground don’t receive anywhere near the recognition they deserve, and should be heard by a wider audience. Here then I will look back on the band’s ten year long career and seek to introduce as many people as possible to music they should have heard long ago.
Although the members of The Sunshine Underground had known each other from a very young age, it was in college, where they studied music, that the band was formed. Moving to Leeds together so as not to break the band up, they slowly started to improve musically and began to send demos to numerous record labels. This hard work paid off, and in 2005 the band signed to the City Rockers label. A debut single soon followed; ‘Put You In Your Place’; a single which would go on to reach number 39 in the UK singles chart the next year.
The band were ready for an album, and in August 2006, ten years ago, they delivered. ‘Raise The Alarm’ propelled the band upwards into a series of UK and European tours, as well as several festival appearances. The label of ‘nu-rave’ ,which was slapped onto them alongside several other bands, Klaxons for example, was a mixed blessing; although it helped them to achieve success in the short term, such trendy genres are always doomed to be forgotten, and its’ demise is somewhat to blame for a dip in interest all the artists involved experienced. However, The Sunshine Underground managed to stay afloat as they didn’t, and never really had tried to adhere to the genre.
It was not until early 2010 that the band’s follow up ‘Nobody’s Coming To Save You’ was released, however, this time gap was not bereft of new music-an EP release in 2009 kept die-hard fans going. Gigs across the world ensued, seeing the band travel to Mexico, China and Austria. However, these live years were tainted by the departure of bass player Daley Smith. Despite this, the band were not finished, and Craig, Stuart and Matthew continued onward.
After another long break, a self-titled album signified the bands return, receiving decent reviews but once again not enough hype. This is a problem which has plagued the band since the beginning; the mainstream media have not given them enough support. Support from these outlets or not, The Sunshine Underground continue to take their dance fuelled anthems around the country, and fail not to excite their avid fan base.
There it is then, The Sunshine Underground’s complete history to date. Ten years of success which bring their career to a close. But not without one final album. And not without one final tour.
It would be amazing for everyone to get down to the farewell gigs, so go give the lads some support at these dates:
WED 5TH OCT – ABERDEEN, THE LEMON TREET
THURS 6TH OCT – GLASGOW, KING TUTS WAH WAH HUT
FRI 7TH OCT – NEWCASTLE, THINK TANK
SAT 8TH OCT – SHEFFIELD, QUEENS SOCIAL
WED 12TH OCT – MANCHESTER, GORILLA
THURS 13TH OCT – STOKE , SUGARMILL
FRI 14TH OCT – NOTTINGHAM, RESCUE ROOMS
SAT 15TH OCT – LEEDS, STYLUS
WED 19TH OCT – BRISTOL, THEKLA
THURS 20TH OCT – BIRMINGHAM, O2 INSTITUTE
FRI 21ST OCT – CARDIFF, CLWB IFOR BACH
SAT 22ND OCT – LONDON, SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE
WED 26TH OCT – OXFORD, THE BULINGDON
THURS 27TH OCT – BRIGHTON, THE HAUNT
FRI 28TH OCT – PORTSMOUTH, WEDGEWOOD ROOMS
SAT 29TH OCT – HULL, THE WELLY CLUB