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  1. How we first met...

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  2. Stu’s mum encourages him to play in front of an audience and puts him in touch with Matthew Morgan who helps run an open mic night at The Borough Club, Flint – a typical, smoky, suspended-ceiling social club, tucked away amongst the houses.

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  3. Marcy, Jamie, Stu and Clare begin meeting regularly at the caravan in Llay and Marcy’s bedsit in Cambrian View, Chester to write music together. They amass almost 100 tunes using home recording equipment and Marcy’s trusty computer.

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  4. A drummer and bass player are enlisted, in the shape of Matthew Wilson and Matthew Morgan, respectively. A set list is prepared and they play their first ever gig on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Tattenhall.

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  5. Following ‘creative differences’ it is decided to return to the original 3-piece, plus lyricist...

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  6. The lads finally persuade Clare to pick up something other than her pen during band practice and so she begins fumbling round on the fret board of a bass.

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  7. Now known as ‘the reads’ (lowercase), they are signed by ill fated, independent label, Leaping Cat Records...

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  8. They enlist the help of (or, more accurately, ‘steal’) Matthew Goddard, as part-time drummer. When his own band, Ethergy, breaks up he joins the line up as a full time ‘read’.

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  9. The band continues to produce its own recordings and build up a regular calendar of gigs, largely involving beer festivals. They find new practice space in the shape of a barn within a microbrewery; Spitting Feathers, Waverton.

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  10. Having seen them perform on several occasions, Matt Plumridge approaches the band and offers to help them record their debut album…

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  11. ‘Stories from the Border’ the debut album from ‘the reads’ is released! Live dates are planned, kicking off with an album launch at a packed Telford’s Warehouse, Chester on 26th March

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  12. The band signs a publishing deal with A Songs – home of Fatboy Slim and the Stereo MC’s amongst others – and edge a little closer to the dream of their music featuring on a deeply inappropriate advert, someday. They play a PRS ‘almost famous’ showcase gig (oh, the irony…) in London and meet more celebrity fans; Bryn ‘TV Chef’ Williams and partner, Sharleen Spiteri.

  13. The band whittles down tracks for the new album and call in Jim Spencer’s services again. It is recorded across spring/summer at The Charlatans’ Big Mushroom studios in Middlewich.

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  14. Mastered at Abbey Road (CLANG!), where the band bump into Nick Mason on a stairwell (CLANG!!!) ‘Lost at Sea’ is released on 21st April to another sell-out show at Telford’s Warehouse, Chester.

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  15. After Clare and Chris part company, Chris departs the band. The band is due to support Finlay Quaye at The Live Rooms in Chester. They turn up, he doesn’t.

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  16. Not much happens.*

  17. Marcy shares a CD of new music, Clare sends out a batch of new poems/lyrics...

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  18. The band comes out of a longer-than-planned period of musical inactivity with a renewed commitment to making music.

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  19. They finish recording during an insanely hot week in, erm… February. (Global warming is a myth, right?)

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