- The Clientele
Infobox musical artist
Name = The Clientele
Background = group_or_band
London, England, United Kingdom
Merge Records Pointy Records
URL = www.theclientele.co.uk
Current_members = Alasdair MacLean Mark Keen James Hornsey Mel Draisey
Past_members = Innes Phillips
The Clientele are a
London-based British band with Alasdair MacLeanon vocals and guitar, Mark Keenon drums, James Hornseyon bass and Mel Draiseyon violin, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion.
The band have experienced greater success in the United States, where they are signed to
Merge Records, home of bands such as Lambchop and Spoon, than in their native Britain. They have conducted several extensive US tours.
MacLean and Hornsey both grew up in
Hampshire, England, and began collaborating musically while still in school, after MacLean saw that Hornsey had written the name of the band Felt on his pencil case. The band formed in 1991, with the current lineup along with Innes Phillips, who shared singing and songwriting duties with MacLean; their original name was "The Butterfly Collectors". The band recorded an album's worth of material but failed to get any label interest. Innes left the band (and would go on to found The Relict); the rest of the group re-formed in 1997, after which they moved to London and released a number of singles that were eventually collected on "Suburban Light" (2000). That compilation won the band glowing reviews; " SF Weekly" said the band "offers a brand of appealingly melancholy pop that might just surpass that of its forebears." [http://www.sfweekly.com/Issues/2001-04-11/music/music3.html] "The Violet Hour" (2003) was their first album proper, which again saw great acclaim, but, as yet, little commercial success.
August 2005 saw the release of their second full album, "
Strange Geometry", the first the band recorded with a producer, Brian O’Shaughnessy, who had previously produced Primal Scream. It was notable for a much cleaner production sound than the reverb-heavy sound that had previously been their defining characteristic; it was also the first time the band had used a strings section on one of their records. The task of writing these arrangements was given to Louis Philippe. Only one single, "Since K Got Over Me", was released from the album, which failed to reach the Top 75 in the UK. Another song from the album, "(I Can't Seem) To Make You Mine", was featured on the soundtrack of the film "The Lake House".
"Strange Geometry" was quickly followed by a collection of recordings from 1991 to 1996, featuring Innes Phillips, called "It's Art, Dad". After a US tour in August 2006, The Clientele became a four-piece again, adding Mel Draisey (on violin, keys and percussion), who became their first female member. They then recorded the album "
God Save The Clientele" with producer Mark Nevers, known for his work with Merge labelmates Lambchop; the album again featured several Louis Philippe-composed string arrangements. "God Save The Clientele" was released in May 2007 in the United States.
Their music has often been noted for its reverb-rich production [http://www.spin.com/features/ithappenedlastnight/2006/09/060905_clientele/] and MacLean's distinctive breathy vocals (an effect achieved partly by MacLean singing with a microphone plugged into a guitar amplifier) and unique guitar style. Their lyrics take a strong inspiration from
surrealistliterature and art from the early 20th century; "We Could Walk Together" quotes a line ("like a silver ring thrown into the flood of my heart") from a 1928 poem by French surrealist Joë Bousquet; the song "What Goes Up" quotes the poem "Stupidity Street" by Ralph Hodgsonin its entirety.
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
The Television Personalities
Suburban Light" (November 2000)
* "The Violet Hour" (July 2003)
Strange Geometry" (August 2005)
It's Art, Dad" (recordings from 1991-1996) (October 2005)
God Save The Clientele" (May 2007)
A Fading Summer EP" (June 2000)
Lost Weekend EP" (March 2002)
Ariadne EP" (March 2004)
That Night A Forest Grew EP" (2008)
* "What Goes Up" b/w "Five Day Morning" (June 1998)
* "All The Dust And Glass": "Reflections After Jane" b/w "An Hour Before The Light" (March 1999)
* "Lacewings" b/w "Saturday" (September 1999)
* "I Had To Say This" b/w "Monday's Rain" (December 1999)
* "(I Want You) More Than Ever" b/w "6 A.M. Morningside" (February 2000)
* "Haunted Melody" b/w "Fear Of Falling" (October 2002)
* "House On Fire" (June 2003)
* "Lacewings" (Live) b/w "Policeman Getting Lost" (Live) (July 2004)
* "Since K Got Over Me" (August 2005)
* "Held In Glass" by
The Relictb/w "(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine" by The Clientele (February 2001)
* "Grace" by
The Saturday Peopleb/w "Porcelain" by The Clientele (July 2001)
* "Six Foot Drop" by
Clock Strikes 13b/w "We Could Walk Together" by The Clientele (January 2002)
* [http://www.theclientele.co.uk The Clientele's official website]
* [http://www.popnews.com/popnews/clienteleitw/indexus.php Clientele interview at POPnews]
* [http://www.myspace.com/theclienteleofficial Clientele's MySpace page]
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