With a flamboyant frontman and a love of '70s disco and glam rock, the five-piece El Pres!dente have inevitably been labeled as Scotland's answer to the Scissor Sisters. Hailing from Glasgow, the band is the brainchild of former Gun member Dante Gizzi, who came up with the name while on tour in France. After Gun split, he began writing songs and, with the help of brother Jools, recorded material on a small sampler, the results of which were aired on local station Radio Clyde. After a couple of solo gigs at the King Tut's venue, Gizzi started to get a band together -- but after signing a management deal with One Records, various members left the group and only drummer Dawn Zhu remained. Gizzi then recruited keyboardist Laura Marks, bassist Thomas McNeice, and guitarist Johnny McGlynn, and after signing a deal with BMG Records, they released their first single, "Rocket," on limited-edition 10" red vinyl in 2005.
After touring the U.K., the band released its first proper single, "100 MPH," which thanks to a Rubik's Cube-inspired video, attracted enough attention to reach the Top 40. The band then supported Kasabian on their U.K. tour and Oasis on their only Scottish date before a flooded stage canceled their scheduled Glastonbury set. Further singles "Without You" (number 30) and the re-released "Rocket" (number 48) failed to break them through into the mainstream and their self-titled debut album could only peak at number 57. The band embarked on a larger U.K. tour, supported Jamiroquai, and appeared on the John Peel tribute record Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?, but final single "Turn This Thing Around" again only managed to creep inside the Top 40. After performing on the main stage at T in the Park in 2006, the band started work on its second album with Texas bassist Johnny McElhone. ~ Jon O'Brien