Space are an English indie rock band from Liverpool, who came to prominence in the mid-1990s with hit singles such as "Female of the Species", "Neighbourhood" "Avenging Angels" and "The Ballad of Tom Jones". They worked with both Tom Jones in 1999 and Cerys Matthews a year earlier. The band had formed in 1993 and released four studio albums, plus a number of charting singles, before eventually disbanding in 2005. In 2011, two years after the death of original drummer Andy Parle, the band announced they would reunite with Tommy Scott, Jamie Murphy and Franny Griffiths returning alongside three new members, crowd-funding their first album in a decade, [Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab]].
The melodic core of Space's sound was inspired by '60s guitar groups such as The Kinks and The Who, yet their imaginative, pioneering usage of electronic instruments and sampling drew mostly from hip hop and classic film soundtracks. Each member of the group had wildly different tastes in music, which they often brought to the fore of their work. The band were also known for their over-the-top, dark humoured lyrics, which frequently dealt with subjects such as serial killers, failed relationships, social outcasts, and mental illness.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Band members
- 3 Discography
- 3.1 Studio albums
- 3.2 Compilation albums
- 3.3 Singles
- 3.4 Music for Aliens
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Tommy Scott (then bass player), Jamie Murphy, and Andy Parle formed Space in 1993 and aimed for a Who-influenced sound, releasing a 12-inch single entitled "Is It Real". After Franny Griffiths, an old friend and former member of Scott's earlier group Hello Sunset, was brought in to join them on keyboards a year later, establishing their trademark style, they secured a recording contract with Gut Records who released their first single, "Money" in 1995. The single "Neighbourhood"' followed in 1996 but it was not until the release of their next single, "Female of the Species", that they achieved popular acclaim. This song was also the theme song to the UK television series Cold Feet.
Their debut album Spiders, released in September 1996, enjoyed moderate success and went platinum in the UK. "Female of the Species" also gained moderate airplay on college radio and MTV in the United States. The line-up increased with the addition of bassist/multi-instrumentalist Yorkie - who started working with the band years before their success with Spiders - in late 1996, so that Scott could concentrate more on vocals and guitar.
A tour of the US followed in mid-1997 which was less successful than many had hoped. The death of Yorkie's mother Gladys Palmer, a local Liverpool singer, devastated the band, and Parle left the group straight after the band completed work on their second album. Caffrey was quickly chosen to take over from Parle.
The new record, entitled Tin Planet, was a more mature, focused release than Spiders and was issued in spring 1998, hitting number three in the UK Albums Chart. Like its predecessor, it became a success, but it did upset some fans due to its' more softer, pop-friendly songs and the lack of the much more aggressive tracks found on Spiders. In late 1998, for a Honda advertisement, Space recorded a version ofThe Animals' "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place", which was featured on The Bad Days EP. The band also recorded a track together with singer Tom Jones for his album Reload, released in 1999.
In 2001, Space parted ways with Gut following certain issues with the label, including the constant postponing of their third album Love You More than Football. Things went from bad to worse, though, when Murphy decided to quit the band in early 2002. Feeling that they had reached their peak, Space decided to retreat from the public eye and release their music to their fans via their website. These recordings were known asMusic for Aliens.
After a three-year break from public attention, Space returned in 2004 to release Suburban Rock 'N' Roll, their first proper release of new material since Tin Planet. It failed to earn critical and commercial recognition. The lukewarm reception of the releases and the problems with getting a recording contract, made it financially impossible to carry on. In 2005, Space announced their decision to go their separate ways.
Since the band's original break-up, most of the former members have continued to play in bands and music industry: Scott and Phil Hartley have formed a punk band called the Drellas, which included Jones on drums and Clarke on vintage keys. Hartley, who plays bass, also produces for the band, along with other Antipop Records acts such as Metro Manila Aide, The Dead Class, The Temps and Fraktures.Griffiths is with Murphy and Vince Hagen with their band Dust, and has also making R&B under the name Subway Showdown, while Yorkie is producing for Shack.
Andy Parle died on 1 August 2009, aged 42, in Liverpool. Police said they were treating Parle's death as "unexplained" after he was seen to fall while crossing the road. Eyewitnesses described Parle tripping and falling after trying to run across a road in Liverpool at around 11.30pm on Saturday. They said he had been inside the Park Road Fish Bar in Dingle. Some locals ran to his aid and tried to revive him. A taxi full of passengers also stopped to help and paramedics were called, however he died later at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Dave Palmer, his former band mate, said: "It's the saddest, most tragic end you could have." He added that Parle had been "a brilliant drummer".
In November 2011 Space announced they would reunite for a gig at Christmas to be held at the O2 Academy in their home town of Liverpool. The line-up reunites original members Scott, Murphy and Griffiths as well as some new faces, who have previously played in Scott's current band The Red Scare (formerly known as the Drellas). They also announced the release of a new album, entitled Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab, and a world tour in 2012. After two years in the making, the album was released in March 2014 release date, preceded by the lead single "Fortune Teller".
In 2013 as part of their touring commitments it was announced that they would be main support to Toploader at the LeeStock Music Festival in Suffolk.
As part of their 20th Anniversary, Space announced a tour throughout March 2014 alongside Republica.
§Band members Edit
As of 2014, the line-up consists of:
- Tommy Scott - guitar and lead vocals (1993–2005, 2011–)
- Franny Griffiths - keyboards, synthesizers, melodica, various electronic instruments and backing vocals (1994–2005, 2011–)
- Phil Hartley - double bass, bass guitar and backing vocals (2011–)
- Allan Jones - drums (2011–)
Previous members of Space:
- Jamie Murphy - lead guitar and backing vocals (1993–2002, 2011–2012)
- Andy Parle - drums (1993–1998; died in 2009)
- David "Yorkie" Palmer - bass guitar, keyboards and backing vocals (1996–2005)
- Leon Caffrey - drums (1998–2005)
- Ryan Clarke - keyboards and backing vocals (2011–2014)
§Studio albums Edit
|UK Albums Chart|
|2000||Love You More than Football
|2004||Suburban Rock 'n' Roll
|2014||Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab
§Compilation albums Edit
- Invasion of the Spiders (collection of all the B-sides and remixes from Spiders) (1997)
- Greatest Hits (2002)
- Music for Aliens (2002–03)
- Greatest Hits & Unheard Bits (2003)
- Greatest Hits: Collectors Edition (2005)
|Year||Song||UK Singles Chart|
|AUS||U.S. Mod Rock|
|1993||"If It's Real"||—||—||—||-|
|1995||"Money / Kill Me"||—||—||—||Spiders|
|"Female of the Species"||14||80||15|
|"Me and You Versus the World"||9||—||—|
|"Avenging Angels"||6||—||—||Tin Planet|
|1998||"The Ballad of Tom Jones"||4||46||—|
|"Bad Days (EP)"||20||—||—|
|2000||"Diary of a Wimp"||49||—||—||Love You More Than Football|
|2002||"Gravity" (promo single)||—||—||—|
|"Zombies"||87||—||—||Suburban Rock 'n' Roll|
|2004||"Suburban Rock 'n' Roll"||67||—||—|
|"20 Million Miles from Earth"||124||—||—|
|2013||"Frightened Horses" (video single)||—||—||—||Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab|
|"Fortune Teller" (digital download)||—||—||—|
|2014||"Fortune Teller" (7" vinyl re-issue)||—||—||—|
|"Falling in Love"||—||—||—|
§Music for Aliens Edit
Main article: Music for Aliens
- In Black and White: "Straight Line" / "Nothing to Find Her" (2002)
- "Year of the Underdog" (2002)
- "Spooky Bitch" (2002)
- "The English Language Let Me Down" (alternative version) (2003)
- "...Now I'm History!" (2003)