Plone – in concert at John Peel’s Meltdown Festival – June 20, 1998 – BBC Radio 1.
Plone in concert tonight. It’s been a rotten week and we’re only two days into it. All the more reason to hit the play button and wrap yourself up in a sonic solution and a fifteen minute escape from the outside world.
Plone formed in late 1994 when Mark Cancellara and Mike Johnston started to buy old analogue keyboards and guitar effects units, and began to rehearse making soundscapes. Johnston was living with Billy Bainbridge (who was in another band at the time, Supernal, also containing members of electro band sol dat) who bought himself a keyboard and joined the band.
The band started gigging as support to local bands such as Pram and Broadcast. In 1997, the band was approached by Wurlitzer Jukebox who released the single, “Press a Key”. On the strength of this the band was signed to Warp and, in September 1998, released the single “plock”. This was tipped as one of the singles of the year by NME, Melody Maker and Dazed & Confused.
An album For Beginner Piano was released in September 1999 to widespread critical acclaim.
Rob Mitchell (who had originally signed the band to Warp) was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and died in September that year.
Their second album has never been officially released but has appeared on torrent and other file sharing sites on the internet.
Bainbridge went on to play keyboards with Broadcast (on the ‘Ha Ha Sound’ tour), and is now a member of Seeland with Tim Felton (now also ex-Broadcast), and released a single “Wander” / “Pherox” on Duophonic in 2005. Johnston went on to form Mike in Mono, and is also ‘Clive 2’ in ZX Spectrum Orchestra and a member of the Modified Toy Orchestra.
Mark Cancellara is currently a magician’s assistant and DJ.
Starting in the summer of 2009, Plone’s song “Plaything” appeared on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial.
In October 2019, it was announced that a new Plone album will be released on the Ghost Box label in 2020. On 25 February 2020 the new album was announced, named Puzzlewood and set to be released on 17 April. It is compiled from material recorded at various points since the “lost second album”, right up to the present day.
With all the particulars out of the way, hit the play button and relax. And exhale.
As you know, we’ve suspended indefinitely our ads in order to make Past Daily a better experience for you without all the distractions and pop-ups. Because of that, we’re relying more on your support through Patreon to keep us up and running every day. For as little as $5.00 a month you can make a huge difference as well as be able to download all of our posts for free (news, history, music). You’ll see a banner just below. Click on that and become a subscriber – it’s easy, painless and does a world of good.