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Mystery Jets are an English indie rock band, formerly based on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, London.[1] The band consists of Blaine Harrison (vocals, guitar and keyboards), William Rees (guitar, vocals), Jack Flanagan (bass) and Kapil Trivedi (drums).[2]

Mystery Jets
Underage festival 2009 mystery jets.jpg
Mystery Jets in 2009
Background information
OriginEel Pie Island, Twickenham, London, England
GenresIndie rock, post-punk revival, indie pop, psychedelic rock, new prog
Years active2003–present
LabelsCaroline International (current), Rough Trade, 679 Artists, Transgressive Dim Mak (former)
Websitehttp://www.mysteryjets.com/
MembersBlaine Harrison
William Rees
Kapil Trivedi
Jack Flanagan
Henry Harrison
Past membersKai Fish
Tamara Pearce-Higgins
Peter Cochrane
Matt Park

HistoryEdit

Formation and early demos (2003)Edit

The band's first line-up consisted of Blaine Harrison on drums, William Rees on guitar and Henry Harrison (Blaine's father) on bass. Henry became a second guitarist in the band and they were joined by Kai Fish on bass and Tamara Pearce-Higgins on the organ.[3] Kai joined the band after suggestions that they needed a bassist (he played the cello originally). Their original name was The Misery Jets, which was taken from an Evening Standard headline (Eel Pie Island is under the Heathrow flight path, where planes can be frequently spotted). It got changed to Mystery Jets when Blaine accidentally misspelled the name while painting it on a drum skin.[4]

The band at this time recorded an eponymous EP with Aswad producer Nick Sykes. They would practise in the boat shed built by Henry on land he bought after a hippie commune on Eel Pie Island burnt down. Blaine (whose voice had yet to break[5]) took lead vocals. Tamara left the band, and Blaine switched from drums to keyboards.[3] The band had a brief stint with a friend of Williams' (known only as Max) on drums, but he was unreliable and for a time a drum machine was used.[6] The band advertised on internet message boards for a drummer and found Kapil Trivedi.[7] Kapil is not from Eel Pie Island like the rest of the members, but rather Wembley, North London. He found out about the band through his drum teacher. Mystery Jets draws influences from Hall and Oates,[8] Syd Barrett, and Pink Floyd. William Rees has named Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie[9] as his guitar inspirations. Much attention has been drawn to their hosting of a series of parties, dubbed "The White Cross Revival", on Eel Pie Island.[10][11]

Making Dens and Zootime (2005–2006)Edit

The Eel Pie Island EP was recorded soon after by a young producer called Bishop Dante at Rooster studios. The band issued its first proper single, a limited edition 7" of "Zoo Time", on Transgressive Records. Mystery Jets ran a series of illegal parties on Eel Pie Island, attracting large crowds, before being shut down by the police. They went on to sign to 679 Recordings. After 2005 saw a number of singles and their TV debut on MTV Two's Spanking New Music Week. The start of 2006 saw the band gain their highest charting single with "The Boy Who Ran Away", play the ShockWaves NME Awards Tour and make their first appearance on Top of the Pops.[12]

The band's debut UK album, Making Dens, was released on 6 March 2006.[13] On 18 September 2006, the band put on a tribute show to Syd Barrett,[14] one of their biggest influences.[15] The show was put on at the Union Chapel in Islington, London. Performers were Kid Harpoon, Lupen Crook, Kate Nash, Dan Treacy and the Television Personalities, Drew from Babyshambles, Ben from SixToes, Lucas from the Cazals and Mystery Jets. The groups created a special fanzine made for the show with entries from all the performers and artwork by the bands.

December 2006 saw the band release "Umbrellahead / Half In Love With Elizabeth" through its MySpace site to competition winners. The two tracks were produced by Erol Alkan and were meant to be part of a ten-inch vinyl acoustic EP, but that idea was scrapped. Throughout 2007 the band wrote new songs (including "Hand Me Down", "Pink Elephant" and "Undercover Lover", the latter two being renamed "Veiled In Grey" and "Hideaway" and all three being included on their album Twenty One) and played more gigs around the world, especially in America where they released their debut album Zootime (a collection of tracks from Making Dens, as well as EPs and singles[16]) on 8 May, through Dim Mak Records.[17] Henry Harrison decided to stop playing live with the band shortly afterwards, but is still very much involved and went into the studio with the rest of the band.[18] He still helps with songwriting and occasionally makes onstage appearances. Henry has said,"I'm just another member, I'm one of five. I love it. That whole authority thing served a purpose and when it was done I was glad to relinquish it, because it got in the way of us working properly together."[19]

Twenty One (2007–2008)Edit

 
Kapil Trivedi in 2008

At the end of 2007 the band went on a short club show across the UK, and released a free Christmas single, "Flakes".[20]

Their second album, Twenty One, was released on 24 March 2008.[21] Produced by Erol Alkan and mixed by renowned producer Nick Launay, it was preceded by the single "Young Love" featuring Laura Marling, released on 10 March 2008. The second single released from the album was "Two Doors Down". It reached 24 in the U.K charts, their highest position so far. The album represented a change in the band's sound, shifting from psychedelic and progressive rock towards more of a pop direction.

On 8 June 2008, the band played at the Scottish RockNess music festival which attracted over 35,000 music lovers - the band's set was broadcast on national UK broadcaster Hitz Radio. The band also spoke backstage about their rise to fame, reviving the eighties and how they plan to take over the world.[22][23]

In 2008 Mystery Jets, along with Jeremy Warmsley and Adem, contributed the song "Grains of Sand" to the Survival International charity album Songs for Survival.

Serotonin (2009–2010)Edit

In January 2009, Mystery Jets left their previous contract with 679 Recordings and signed a new deal with Rough Trade Records.[24] They also began recording a new album and continued to tour. They performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals at the end of August 2010.

In April 2010, Mystery Jets announced their third studio album, Serotonin.[25] The album was released on 5 July 2010 and was produced by Chris Thomas. The working title was Luminescence[26] but the name was changed later on. Blaine has said that he wanted this album to be "quintessential Mystery Jets record." A promotional single, entitled "Flash A Hungry Smile", was made available on the band's website for free. The first single to be released from the album, "Dreaming Of Another World" was added to BBC Radio 1's B Playlist in May 2010 and was also released on 5 July 2010. On 5 July, Mystery Jets performed an instore session at Rough Trade East for their album release. A limited edition 12" was released as well as CD format and digital download. In 2010, the band featured on The Count & Sinden track, "After Dark".[27]

Radlands (2011–2013)Edit

In March 2011 following a secret SXSW show, the band set up a home recording studio in a country house by the Colorado River of Texas in the Westlake area in Austin, Texas. Writing and recording sessions lasted two months, at the end of which the band returned to the UK to play the summer festivals. Two of the confirmed tracks are "Radlands" and "Sister Everett." Blaine went to California in early July to get inspiration and imagery for the songs. On 22 November 2011, the Mystery Jets announced that their new album will be released in April 2012, with a tour to follow in May 2012.[28] On 3 April 2012, shortly before the release of Radlands, it was announced that Kai Fish would be leaving the band, with bassist Pete Cochrane taking his place for the band's UK tour. On 15 February 2013 it was announced that the Mystery Jets would be performing at Y Not Festival in Derbyshire on Friday 2 August 2013.[29]

Curve of the Earth (2016)Edit

On 30 September 2014, the Mystery Jets played a one-off show at the Barbican in London, along with Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, Marika Hackman, Dry The River, and with Laura Marling as a special guest, to celebrate Transgressive Records' tenth anniversary. In a blog post on the band's official website following the show, Blaine Harrison announced that the band was "deep into the thick of album five sessions", and had completed building their own studio in a former button factory. Harrison also announced a new band member, bassist Jack Flanagan, had been officially incorporated into the band in January 2014.[30]

On 20 October 2015 the band released a trailer announcing their fifth album Curve of The Earth, which was released on 15 January 2016[31][2]

MembersEdit

  • Blaine Harrison – vocals, keyboards, guitar
  • William Rees - guitar, vocals
  • Kapil Trivedi - drums
  • Henry Harrison – keyboards, guitar
  • Jack Flanagan - bass
Former members
  • Tamara Pearce-Higgins – keyboards, vocals
  • Kai Fish – vocals, bass
  • Peter Cochrane - bass
  • Matt Park - pedal steel

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Peak Positions Certifications
UK
[32]
SCO
[33]
2006 Making Dens 32 34
2007 Zootime
2008 Twenty One
  • Released: 24 March 2008
  • Label: 679 Recordings
42 96 BPI: Silver[34]
2010 Serotonin 42
2012 Radlands
  • Released: 30 April 2012
  • Label: Rough Trade
40 74
2016 Curve of the Earth 30 67
2019 A Billion Heartbeats[35] - -

EPsEdit

SinglesEdit

Year Single Peak Positions Album
UK
[32][36]
EUR MEX
[37]
SCO
[38]
2005 "Zoo Time" Making Dens
"On My Feet" [A]
"You Can't Fool Me Dennis" 44 40
"Alas Agnes" 34 100 35
2006 "The Boy Who Ran Away" 23 83 27
"You Can't Fool Me Dennis" (re-release) 41 29
"Diamonds in the Dark" 47 37
2008 "Young Love" featuring Laura Marling 34 99 19 Twenty-One
"Two Doors Down" 24 74 25
"Half in Love with Elizabeth" 107 35
2010 "Dreaming of Another World" Serotonin
"Show Me the Light"
"After Dark" (The Count & Sinden featuring The Mystery Jets) 47 46 Mega Mega Mega
2011 "Serotonin"[39] Serotonin
2012 "Someone Purer" Radlands
"Greatest Hits" 42
2015 "Telomere" Curve of the Earth
2016 "Bubblegum"
2019 "Screwdriver" A Billion Heartbeats
"—" denotes a release that did not chart or has not been released
  • A - Although the single does not actually feature on the album Making Dens, the track entitled Summertime Dens is a continuation.

7" special limitedEdit

  • Powercut Serenades (Signed with "Umbrellahead" and "Half In Love With the Radio" on. Limited edition of 300 copies all given away to competition winners)

Early demosEdit

  • Mystery Jets EP (self financed, CD)
  • Eel Pie Island (self financed, CD) 2004.
  • Christmas Sessions (self financed, CD)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ JacquesSnaefells (14 March 2008). "Mystery Jets on Freshly Squeezed (Interview)". YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Goodman, Jessica (30 January 2016). "Turning On An Axis: Mystery Jets". DIY. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Band Biography". Eel Pie Abode. Archived from the original on 11 August 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ Nikki Brogan (19 September 2012). "Interview + Giveaway :: Mystery Jets". FBi 94.5. FBi Radio. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Drowned in Sound - Reviews - Live - Mystery Jets". Drowned In Sound. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Introducing... Mystery Jets - Edinburgh Evening News". Edinburgh Evening News. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Mystery Jets interview - LA BLOGOTHEQUE". LA BLOGOTHEQUE. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  8. ^ "About". Mystery Jets Facebook fan page. Facebook. 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  9. ^ "VOX Artists | William Rees and Blaine Harrison of Mystery Jets". Web.archive.org. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "The Mystery Jets On '21'". XFM. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "Interview with - The Mystery Jets". TNT Magazine. 14 December 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "INTERVIEW: Mystery Jets in Exeter - Music". What's On. Retrieved 7 May 2008.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Making Dens : Limited Edition". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  14. ^ "Mystery Jets organise concert for Syd Barrett". NME. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Mystery Jets - News, Videos, Biog, Tickets, Reviews, Interview". ContactMusic. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  16. ^ "PrettySocial - Mystery Jets Schedule 'Zoo Time,' Tour". PrettySocia. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "Amazon.com listing". Amazon.com. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  18. ^ "Mystery Jets - Young Love review". ComfortComes. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  19. ^ "MYSTERY JETS". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ "MYSTERY JETS - FLAKES". Mystery Jets. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "Play.com listing". Play.com. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  22. ^ "Mystery Jets speak on Hitz Radio". Mystery Jets. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ "Mystery Jets performance cover at Rock Ness 08". Mystery Jets. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  24. ^ The Quietus (3 February 2009). "Mystery Jets Sign To Rough Trade". The Quietus. TheQuietus.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Mystery Jets reveal new album release date and tracklisting". NME.com. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ DominoRecords (21 July 2010). "The Count & Sinden featuring Mystery Jets - After Dark (2010)". YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Mystery Jets". Mystery Jets. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  29. ^ "Y Not Festival". ynotfestivals.com. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  30. ^ Harrison, Blaine. "Prog Rock and Tarka Dal". Mysteryjets.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  31. ^ Mystery, Jets. "Mystery Jets announce 'personal' fifth album 'Curve Of The Earth'". Nme.com. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Artist Chart History: Mystery Jets". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  33. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  34. ^ "Certified Awards Search" (To access, enter the search parameter "Mystery Jets"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  35. ^ "A Billion Heartbeats by Mystery Jets". music.apple.com. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  36. ^ "Mystery Jets - Top Songs". Music VF. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  37. ^ "billboard.biz". Billboard.biz.
  38. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  39. ^ "Serotonin - Single by Mystery Jets". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Mystery Jets at Wikimedia Commons