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1. Kingmaker were a British indie rock group, founded in Kingston upon Hull in 1990.Read More...
Teenage schoolmates Loz Hardy and Myles Howell formed the group during their year off after school. They placed an advertisement for a drummer, and eventually recruited the significantly older John Andrew. Andrew was an ex-travelling puppeteer. The band began playing and touring, before making their recording debut with The Celebrated Working Man EP. After this they signed up to Chrysalis Records and released a second EP, entitled Idiots at the Wheel in January 1992. They were also immediately courted by the music press, and they invented a niche category for the band, which they dubbed "New Cool Rock".
With a fan following building up, and lyrical austerity in their melodic music, they were tipped by some as the "next big thing". Their debut album, Eat Yourself Whole was well received, and spent three weeks in the UK Album Chart, reaching a high of number twenty-nine in October 1991. In addition, the single release of the album's title track, "Eat Yourself Whole", reached the U.K. Top Twenty.
They then landed an American record deal with Chrysalis. Kingmaker's second album, Sleepwalking was released in 1993, to general acclaim. Hardy's songwriting prowess seemed to have grown in inverse proportion to their stature. Certainly the songs on Sleepwalking, primarily located in Hardy's bitter world, far surpassed anything on the debut album, and outshone the early singles that had won them most attention. The album starts off with "Playground Brutality", a sad, emotional song about bullying in schools. This sets the tone for the songs to follow, which cover a broad range of subjects such as death, anarchy and injustice.
However, despite their promising debut, the band rapidly fell out of favour. Paul Heaton of local stars The Beautiful South heavily criticised them as being middle class pretenders, and the rot set in thereafter.
Their final album, In the Best Possible Taste emerged in 1995, within one month of the death of the disc jockey Kenny Everett, who had popularised the phrase. Whilst tracks such as "One False Move" revealed a subtle shift towards urban rockabilly, the band called it quits after touring later the same year.
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