Back in 2008, Garfields Birthday had been promising this album for ages, in fact the first tracks were recorded in 2005! It proved to be quite a sporadic project; at different stages the three band members were living in Weymouth, Bristol and Canada, so getting everyone in the same place for long enough to get anything done was a challenge in itself! Despite that, they managed to come up with ten stunning pop gems that were certain to put a smile on the faces of their loyal fanbase.
Their musical home, Weymouth, is a seaside town on the picturesque Jurassic Coast of England. Formed late in 1995 by founding members James Laming and Simon Felton, they started churning out songs at an incredible rate, playing a couple of gigs in local pubs to find out how the tunes would stand up in front of a live audience. In 1997 they played at the infamous venue TJ's in Wales, supporting ex-Inspiral Carpets front man Tom Hingley and his band The Lovers. Joined by Jon Park on guitar, they ventured into the studio to record what was intended to be a double A-sided 7" single, featuring ‘Kenneth Davis’ and ‘Thick Ear’. The following year (1998) saw them return to Small World Studio in Yeovil with P.J. Harvey’s engineer at the helm, to record some new tracks which became the Ambulance EP.
Surely it was just a matter of time before they’d be collecting the best new-comer award at The Brits. Well they’re still waiting for that particular honour and to be honest, it’s becoming less likely with each passing year! Fast-forward to 2004, and they got the chance to play at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool. This seemed to prompt them into action, as they began playing gigs a bit more frequently and in March 2005 went into Toy Box Studio in Bristol to record a new single called ‘Mr Newton’. It was the first thing they had recorded with the new line-up of Simon Felton, Shane Felton and Ady Payne, after the departure of kingpin James Laming, to form a new band with Mark Robins called Mondo Jet Set.
The Mr Newton EP was released by German label Dandyland Records in March 2006. Even though James was no longer in the band, he still joined the them on stage at The Cavern in May 2006 to play a couple of songs with his old band mates. This was their third appearance in as many years on the famous Liverpool stage, and James must have enjoyed the brief reunion as soon after, he allowed himself to be dragged into a studio on Portland to put the finishing touches to this much talked about (by the band) and long awaited album. Brit-pop may seem an awfully long time ago, but for a maturing indie band living by the sea, it seems there is still plenty to be happy about. You may now all go and eat cake!
released May 26, 2008
Shane Felton plays guitars and sings
Simon Felton sings and plays the bass
Adrian Payne plays drums
James Laming on vocals and additional guitars
Alan Strawbridge on organ and percussion
Recorded and mixed by Alan Strawbridge, Simon Felton and Stef Hambrook at Al's, Tides and Toybox Studios.
Garfields Birthday are from Weymouth, on the south coast of England. Formed in 1995 at the height of Brit-pop, they started
building a loyal fanbase and an impressive catalogue of songs, before releasing their debut album in 2008. After 25 years, gigs at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool and successful tours of Germany, the band released their "best of" album Typically Stereo in August 2020....more