Longpigs in session tonight. Recorded in Paris on June 26, 1996 for the celebrated Bernard Lenoir and his Black Sessions radio program for Radio France International.
Longpigs rose to fame on the fringe of Britpop in the 1990s, comprising Crispin Hunt (vocals), Richard Hawley (guitar), Simon Stafford (bass guitar) and former Cabaret Voltaire member Dee Boyle (drums) who was replaced by Andy Cook for their second album. Hailing from Sheffield, the group had success with singles such as “She Said”, “On and On”, and their well-received debut album The Sun Is Often Out (1996).
The band toured extensively, opening for Echobelly, Supergrass and finally Radiohead in early 1995. Their first singles on Mother Records, “Happy Again”, “She Said” and “Jesus Christ” did little in the charts. The band played the 1995 Reading Festival. The new track “All Hype” was featured on the compilation CD Volume 14: Reading ’95 Special although was never released as a single.
Their fourth single, “Far”, managed to hit the UK Top 40. In March 1996 this was followed by the ballad “On and On”, which received considerable radio airplay and hit the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart. In April 1996 the band released their debut album The Sun Is Often Out, which was declared one of 1996’s 50 best albums by both Q and Melody Maker. On the heels of their newfound success, the band then repackaged and re-released “She Said” which also reached the UK Top 20 in June 1996, which was followed by “Lost Myself” (#22).
Initially things seemed promising in America. In 1997, their single “On and On” was added to the playlist of the L.A. alternative radio station KROQ-FM briefly reaching the Alternative U.S. Top 10. The song was also featured on the Mission: Impossible soundtrack (although it was not used in the film). They toured America with Echo & the Bunnymen and The Dandy Warhols, and even opened for U2 on several dates of their PopMart world tour. This tour featured a new track “Beyond Good and Evil” which was never officially released. The band also played the 1997 Glastonbury Festival, with the live track “Travel” (formerly known as “Far” B-side “Amateur Dramatics”) being featured on the official BBC live Glastonbury compilation Mud for It. The song “On and On” can be found on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Face starring Robert Carlyle.
Before the recording of the band’s second album Dee Boyle left the band and was replaced by Andy Cook. Boyle’s relationship with the band resulted in later conflicts with the members.
Mobile Home, was released in October 1999, along with the two singles “Blue Skies” and “The Frank Sonata”. After briefly reaching the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart, sales of the album faded away. Mother Records folded in 2000, and the rest of the band split up shortly afterwards.
In case you missed them the first time around, here’s a chance to catch up. Sadly, another in a long (and getting longer) list of bands who had all the signs and indications of success, but it just was a series of bad breaks and poor timing.