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The Departure was an English rock band from Northampton, formed in October 2003. Their debut album, Dirty Words, was released 13 June 2005 by Parlophone. A second album, Inventions, was expected to be released in early 2008, but was not (due to issues with the band's record label, Parlophone). The band split up on 30 January 2008.

The Departure
David Jones of The Departure.jpg
David Jones performing with The Departure at Manchester Apollo on 26 March 2005
Background information
OriginNorthampton, England
GenresIndie rock
Years active2004-2008
Past membersBen Winton
Sam Harvey
Lee Irons
Andy Hobson
David Maddox-Jones
Simon Alexander


The group formed in January 2004 after starting in Northampton as a collaboration between a former Christian commune member David Jones (vocals/guitar) and his friend Sam Harvey. After recruiting old school associate Ben Winton (bass) and Lee Irons (guitar), the lineup was completed with the addition of Andy Hobson (drums) via a musician's ad website.[1] Jones described the concept of the band to music webzine Drowned in Sound: "We all got quite excited about the whole ethos of what we’re trying to do, which is to take 1980s reference points and transcend them into modern day, edgy, instant kind of sounds."[2]

They were signed to Parlophone after playing only three gigs and being together for just four months,[2] a fact that attracted a considerable level of derision and scepticism.[3] Touring slots with The Killers, Feeder, Duran Duran, Placebo, supporting them at Wembley Arena, The Tears and a reformed Gang Of Four soon followed as the band sought to build a support base ahead of their first wing of releases. Debut single "All Mapped Out" was released on 2 August 2004 and debuted at number 30 on the UK singles chart. The track was included on the soundtrack to Driver: Parallel Lines. Follow-up single "Be My Enemy" emerged on 18 October 2004 and was included on the soundtrack to FIFA 06.

They released a debut album Dirty Words, produced by Steve Osborne (who also worked with New Order, Suede and Happy Mondays), a year after signing to Parlophone at Realworld Studios in Bath. The album was trailed the week before its release by the reissue of the "All Mapped Out" single. Disappointingly it was lower in the charts than the original. The album drew a middling response from critics,[4] who varied between praising the album for its bleak, futuristic atmosphere[5] and slating it for its perceived superficiality and over-reliance on the music of the 80s for inspiration.[6]

A UK tour and festival appearances followed soon after. In early 2006, Lee Irons had left the band citing artistic differences.[7] Andy Hobson left later that year and was replaced by the original drummer, Simon Alexander. The four-piece began work on the follow-up to Dirty Words in Grouse Lodge Studios, Ireland which was expected to release in 2007. On 30 January 2008 the band announced that they had split up after being dropped by Parlophone.

In 2010, David Jones reappeared with a new band called NewIslands and a single called "Out of Time". An album was announced but not released.




  • Lump In My Throat which included; Lump In My throat, Under The Stairs, The City Blurs In Your Eyes, Lump In My Throat (James Ford remix) and Be My Enemy live at Lamcq.
  • All Mapped Out which included; All Mapped Out, Blackout and All Mapped Out (¥£$ remix).
  • Arms Around Me which featured different versions of their song Arms Around Me.


Release date Title Album UK[8]
2 August 2004 "All Mapped Out" Dirty Words 30
18 October 2004 "Be My Enemy" Dirty Words 41
4 April 2005 "Lump In My Throat" Dirty Words 30
6 June 2005 "All Mapped Out" (re-release) Dirty Words 33
17 October 2005 "Arms Around Me" Dirty Words -
3 September 2007 "7 Years" Inventions -


  1. ^ "The Departure". musicOMH. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b Gourlay, Dom. "In 20 years it's not going to be what we look like that matters". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  3. ^ Gourlay, Dom. "Cherubs, The Departure at Nottingham Stealth, Thu 16 Dec". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  4. ^ "The Departure: Dirty Words". Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  5. ^ Garrett, Jon. "The Departure: Dirty Words - PopMatters". Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. ^ Garrett, Jon. "The Departure: Dirty Words - PopMatters Music Review". Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  7. ^ Diver, Mike. "Lee Irons leaves the Departure. This headline could have been better, no?". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 151. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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