The Kingsbury Manx – debut session for John Peel – Recorded September 17, 2000 – Broadcast October 17, 2000 – BBC Radio 1 –
American Indie from The Kingsbury Manx in session tonight. Their first for John Peel, recorded on September 17, 2000 and broadcast on October 17th.
Here’s what Nathan Bush at All Music has to say:
The Kingsbury Manx emerged in 1999 from the same North Carolina indie rock scene that spawned the Archers of Loaf and Superchunk before them. Bandmembers Ken Stephenson (guitar/vocals), Bill Taylor (guitar/vocals), Ryan Richardson (drums/vocals), and Scott Myers (bass/keyboards) attended middle school together in Greensboro before going separate ways during their college years. Stephenson and Myers enrolled in creative writing studies at Wilmington while Taylor and Richardson both landed at UNC, Chapel Hill. During visits back home, the quartet began writing and recording the music for a demo. The band’s break came when Overcoat Recordings owner (and former Thrill Jockey employee) Howard Greynolds heard the tape and agreed to fund their debut.
The Kingsbury Manx s/t debut was released by the label in 2000 to so little fanfare (failing to offer any information about the band or the recording) that it ended up creating a small amount of mystery. Managing to stay independent from any particular scene, the band cultivated a sound simultaneously derivative and original. The influences were timeless (early Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds have all been cited), but they were handled with such loving care and attention to detail that they were rendered largely insignificant. The album became one of the underground indie successes of 2000, landing in the year-end polls of NME (Top 50) and Magnet (“Ten Great Albums Buried in 2000”). A short tour of the U.S. followed in support of Elliott Smith. Let You Down followed in 2001. Its Japanese counterpart release included two bonus tracks, “Dirt and Grime” and “My Shaky Hand.”
Still together, with long periods of inactivity, The Kingsbury Manx are definitely a band worth investigating if you aren’t already familiar – they lend themselves very nicely to repeat playings. Try this session for openers.