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Nine Black Alps are an English alternative rock band, formed in 2003 in Manchester. The band consists of vocalist-guitarist Sam Forrest, guitarist David Jones, drummer James Galley and bassist Karl Astbury.

Nine Black Alps
Background information
OriginManchester, England
GenresAlternative rock, post-grunge, power pop, indie rock, grunge
Years active2003–present
LabelsHatch Records (2013-present)

Lost House Records (own label) (2008-2012)

Island Records (2004-2007)
Associated actsThe Halycon Band, The Sorry Kisses, Milk Maid, The Cribs, The Witches
MembersSam Forrest
David Jones
James Galley
Karl Astbury
Past membersMartin Cohen

Taking their name from "The Couriers" poem by Sylvia Plath, the band came to prominence with the release of their debut album, Everything Is in 2005. Following the release of the band's second album, Love/Hate (2007), the band parted ways with Island Records, and self-released their third studio album, Locked Out from the Inside in 2009.

In 2011, bassist Martin Cohen departed the band to pursue a solo career under the name Milk Maid. Cohen was subsequently replaced by Karl Astbury, with the band releasing their fourth album, Sirens in October 2012. In April 2014, Nine Black Alps released their fifth studio album Candy For The Clowns on Hatch Records.[1]


From their inception in late 2003, the band's energetic live performances earned them a hardcore fanbase after playing for only a few months on the Manchester music scene. In 2004 the band signed to Island records and spent the year touring the UK and recording their first studio album with producer Rob Schnapf in Los Angeles.

In 2005, having completed the album recording, Nine Black Alps toured the UK extensively, promoting the release of their debut album, Everything Is on 13 June 2005. The band supported the Kaiser Chiefs for part of their UK tour in April 2005, and later Weezer in August. The band also performed at 2005's Glastonbury festival, T in the Park, V Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festival. Also in 2005 Nine Black Alps performed in Japan at the winter SonicMania Festival in February,[2] and later that year returned to play the Club Quattro Venues in Tokyo and Osaka. The band also spent time touring northern Europe, including France, the Netherlands and Germany and also supported the Kaiser Chiefs in Scandinavia. The band also ventured to the US, playing at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, and making a short tour of the north east. During February 2006 Nine Black Alps set off for a final 'Everything Is' UK tour with their Manchester friends The Longcut as support. This was Nine Black Alps' largest and most successful UK tour to date, and included sold-out headline shows at Manchester Academy and an NME Shockwaves Awards Show at Hammersmith Palais.[3]

Their first U.S. single was "Cosmopolitan"; their album Everything Is was released in the US on 28 February 2006, and to support the album release Nine Black Alps toured the US extensively during 2006, including several performances at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas and a performance at the Coachella Festival on 28 April that year.

On 18 October 2006, reported that they were working on the follow-up to Everything Is, recording with Oasis and Jet producer Dave Sardy in Los Angeles, California: "According to a posting on the band and Dave Sardy will 'furrow their brows, vent their spleens and bleed their hearts into the production of a glorious technicolour audiophonic dreamscape'".[4]

Nine Black Alps played on the NME Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Invernesshire, in August 2007. The band's first release of 2007 came in the form of "Pocket Full of Stars", a song written by the band and Hayley Hutchinson for inclusion in the movie soundtrack to Surf's Up. The first single taken from the new album was "Burn Faster" released on 23 July and the second single, "Bitter End", was released on 15 October.

The band's second album, Love/Hate, was released on 29 October 2007.

In November 2007 Nine Black Alps supported Biffy Clyro on the Scottish leg of their uk tour and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. On the back of this, Nine Black Alps brought the 'Love/Hate' era and their partnership with Island Records to a close with a successful UK headline tour in January and February 2008.

Having spent much of 2008 writing new material, Nine Black Alps finished recording their third full-length album in February 2009[5] with producer Dave Eringa in North Wales' Bryn Derwen Studio.

In April 2009, Nine Black Alps released a free download song on and their own website. The track, called 'Buy Nothing', was the first release from their forthcoming third album, Locked Out from the Inside. The band's third studio album, Locked Out from the Inside was released on 5 October 2009, and was promoted by a UK-wide tour.

In 2010, it was revealed that the band had started demoing new material for their fourth album as a 3 piece in early May in the West Yorkshire village of Linthwaite. Bass player Martin Cohen left the band in early 2011 to pursue his solo project Milk Maid,[6] with whom he is signed to Brighton based label Fat Cat Records; he has since been replaced by Karl Astbury, formerly of The Witches. Also in 2011, David Jones became the touring second guitarist in The Cribs following the departure of Johnny Marr.

As said on their official website, "[w]e find ourselves back in the studio, a year older, wiser and rustier - recording a bunch of new songs that may or may not find their way onto some form of album."[7]

In June 2012, it was announced that Nine Black Alps had signed with Brew Records to release their fourth studio album, Sirens.[8]

After Brew announced that they were going to close in 2013, Nine Black Alps were announced as the first signing to new label Hatch Records, with a new single "Novokaine" released on 2 December 2013.[1] The band's fifth album Candy For The Clowns was released in May 2014.


Current members

  • Sam Forrest - vocals, guitar, piano (2003–present)
  • David Jones - guitar, bass, keys (2003–present)
  • James Galley - drums, vocals (2003–present)
  • Karl Astbury - bass (2012–present)

Former members

  • Martin Cohen - bass, guitar (2003–2011)[9]



Title Peak chart positions
US Heat
Everything Is 51 19
  • Released: 29 October 2007
  • Labels: Island Records
69 94
Locked Out from the Inside
  • Released: 5 October 2009
  • Labels: Lost House Records
  • Released: 8 October 2012
  • Labels: Brew Records
Candy for the Clowns
  • Released: 6 May 2014
  • Labels: Hatch
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Title UK Budget
Nine Black Alps
  • Released: 12 July 2005
  • Labels: Tiny Evil
Glitter Gulch EP
  • Released: 15 March 2006
  • Labels: Island Records


Year Single(s) Peak chart positions Album
2004 "Cosmopolitan" 101 Everything Is
2005 "Shot Down" 25 34
"Not Everyone" 31
"Unsatisfied" 30
"Just Friends" 52 55
2007 "Burn Faster" 42 17 Love/Hate
"Bitter End"
2009 "Buy Nothing" Locked Out from the Inside
2012 "My One and Only" Sirens
2013 "Novokaine" non-album single
2014 "Supermarket Clothes" Candy for the Clowns

Soundtracks and compilationsEdit

  • "Surf's Up: Music From The Motion Picture" (Pocket Full of Stars)
  • "Class aA: Beyond Entertainment" (Over the Ocean)
  • FlatOut 2 [Xbox Version] Soundtrack (Cosmopolitan)
  • Midnight Club 3 Dub Edition Remix Soundtrack (Not Everyone)


  1. ^ a b "Exclusive: Nine Black Alps - Novokaine". Clash Magazine. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Kansai Scene Magazine :: Live". Kansai Scene Magazine. 1 February 2005. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Nine Black Alps extend UK and Irish tour". NME. 9 December 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Nine Black Alps get to work on second album". NME. 18 October 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2006.
  5. ^ "3rd Album Recording Confirmed". 17 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Fatcat Records | Home". 6 February 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Home | Nine Black Alps | Official site for the Manchester rock band". Nine Black Alps. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Nine Black Alps join Brew. 4th studio album 'Sirens' released 8th October 2012 with UK tour : Brew". Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  9. ^ Knott, Alex. "Milk Maid to release 2nd album in July | Music News". Frost Magazine. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Nine Black Alps - OCC".
  11. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  12. ^ "Nine Black Alps - Billboard".
  13. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: N". Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  14. ^ Peaks in Scotland:

External linksEdit