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The Clientele

Retrofitted pop band the Clientele had obvious roots in the hazy, autumnal glare of Galaxie 500 and Felt. Just as those bands took their Velvet Underground and Television records to heart without being derivative, the Clientele were able to chalk up an extensive discography riddled with lush melodies of their own without sounding like a tribute band. Think of your favorite '60s pop band and odds are they're in the Clientele's blood.

The London-based band formed in mid-1997, consisting of Alasdair MacLean (guitar and vocals), Innes Phillips (guitar and vocals), James Hornsey (bass), and Howard (drums). Mark Keen replaced the academically occupied Howard toward the end of 1999; Phillips left early on to form the Relict, a group with a varied membership that has occasionally included Clientele members. After debuting on the Fierce Panda label's Cry Me a Liver compilation, the Clientele released a slew of singles, compilation contributions, and EPs in short order. Most significantly, March released A Fading Summer in 2000, an EP that harvested some of the band's hard-to-find singles and a couple new recordings. Later that year, the full-length Suburban Light (another compilation of previously recorded material) was issued by Pointy.

The band hooked up with Merge in early 2001, which issued Suburban Light in the U.S. months later. The Lost Weekend EP came out on Acuarela in 2002, which was followed a year later by their first proper album and Merge debut, The Violet Hour. Strange Geometry arrived in 2005, and in 2006 the band added keyboardist/violinist/percussionist Mel Draisey to its ranks. God Save the Clientele, which featured production by Mark Nevers of the band's U.S. labelmates Lambchop, was released in spring 2007. Bonfires on the Heath, another release for Merge, was issued during fall 2009. The Minotaur EP, which followed in August of 2010, was made up of songs recorded during the sessions for Bonfires on the Heath.

Despite the Clientele's claims of giving up touring after their worldwide jaunt promoting Bonfires, they returned to the U.S. for live dates after the EP's release. Soon after these dates, however, the group members announced they were going on indefinite hiatus. MacLean formed a new band called Amor de Dias, and the rest went their separate ways until re-forming (minus Draisey) to play a one-off show in 2013 at the Pop Revo festival in Denmark. Things remained quiet on the recording front, and the band surprised many fans by scheduling a U.S. tour in early 2014 to coincide with Merge's 25th birthday festivities and the deluxe reissue of Suburban Light. The release of the career retrospective Alone and Unreal: the Best of The Clientele in September of 2015 provided the band another excuse to play a live show, while MacLean set fans hearts a flutter by sharing the news in an interview that the band had one side of a new album finished. ~ Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Minotaur

1. Minotaur

2. Jerry

3. As The World Rises And Falls

4. Paul Verlaine

5. Strange Town

6. No. 33

7. The Green Man

8. Nothing Here Is What It Seems

x

Track List: Bonfires On The Heath

1. I Wonder Who We Are

2. Bonfires On The Heath

3. Harvest Time

4. Never Anyone But You

5. Jennifer & Julia

6. Sketch

7. Tonight

8. Share The Night

9. I Know I Will See Your Face

10. Three Month Summers

11. Graven Wood

12. Walking In The Park

x

Track List: That Night, A Forest Grew

1. Retiro Park

2. Share The Night

3. George Says He Has Lost His Way In The World

4. That Night, A Forest Grew

x

Track List: Strange Geometry

1. Since K Got Over Me

2. (I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine

3. My Own Face Inside The Trees

4. K

5. E.M.P.T.Y.

6. When I Came Home From The Party

7. Geometry Of Lawns

8. Spirit

9. Impossible

10. Step Into The Light

11. Losing Haringey

12. Six Of Spades

x

Track List: The Violet Hour

1. The Violet Hour

2. Voices In The Mall

3. When You And I Were Young

4. Missing

5. Jamaican Rum Rhumba

6. House On Fire

7. Everybody's Gone

8. Porcelain

9. Haunted Melody

10. Prelude

11. Lamplight

12. The House Always Wins

13. Policeman Getting Lost

x

Track List: Lost Weekend [Ep]

1. North School Drive

2. Boring Postcard

3. Emptily Through Holloway

4. Kelvin Parade

5. Last Orders

x

Track List: Suburban Light (Remastered)

1. I Had To Say This

2. Rain

3. Reflections After Jane

4. We Could Walk Together

5. Monday's Rain

6. Joseph Cornell

7. An Hour Before The Light

8. (I Want You) More Than Ever

9. Saturday

10. Five Day Morning

11. Bicycles

12. As Night Is Falling

13. Lacewings

14. Sarah's Prelude

15. 6am Morningside

16. From A Window

17. What Goes Up

18. Driving South

19. Porcelain (Portastudio Version)

20. May Has Brought A Change In You

21. Monday's Rain (Portastudio Version)

22. Tracy Had A Hard Day Sunday

23. Six Foot Drop

x

Track List: Suburban Light

1. I Had To Say This

2. Rain

3. Reflections After Jane

4. We Could Walk Together

5. Monday's Rain

6. Joseph Cornell

7. What Goes Up

8. (I Want You) More Than Ever

9. 6am Morningside

10. Five Day Morning

11. From A Window

12. As Night Is Falling

13. Lacewings

x

Track List: A Fading Summer

1. An Hour Before The Light

2. Driving South

3. Bicycles

4. Saturday

x

Track List: Bookshop Casanova (Single)

1. Bookshop Casanova

2. The Fire

3. Girl From Somewhere

x

Track List: God Save The Clientele

1. Here Comes The Phantom

2. I Hope I Know You

3. Isn't Life Strange

4. The Dance Of The Hours

5. From Brighton Beach To Santa Monica

6. Winter On Victoria Street

7. The Queen Of Seville

8. These Days Nothing But Sunshine

9. Somebody Changed

10. No Dreams Last Night

11. Carnival On 7th Street

12. Bookshop Casanova

13. The Garden At Night

14. Dreams Of Leaving

Comments

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mmh
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Hey homos, stay off my Dead Meadow radio!
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dwstring
Hints of Beatles Revolver here, too
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Wow just what I was looking for....
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Reflections after Jane and Dreams of Leaving... Masterpieces
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Phenomenal and painfully underrated.
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bfotsch456
Very nice
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Good stuff
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spensoid
You should also try Swan Dive if you like these guys.
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Their music has been a large part of the soundtrack of my life since 2000.
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First listen ... very nice. Just bookmarked them
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bromide01
Music nice hear. How they say? NOT!
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robin2048
Very good listening
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rhcp_andrew
pretty good
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Like this stuff.
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This band just does no wrong. None, never.

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