Liverpool, England-based guitar rock band the Open was formed in 2002 at the city’s art college by Steven Bayley (vocals/guitar), Jon Winter (guitar), Alan Dutton (keyboards), Jim Reynolds (bass) and Scott Holland (drums). Despite basing themselves in Liverpool, the band members were originally from either neighbouring Walsall or Birkenhead. With Bayley’s powerful vocals helping them stand out from the crowd, the Open were quickly being talked about as potential breakthrough artists. They signed a recording contract with music journalist James Oldham’s Loog imprint and recruited ex-Cocteau Twins member Simon Raymonde to help produce their debut album. The three-track EP Never Enough, released in November 2003, served notice of the band’s affiliation with the burgeoning guitar rock revival. The following year’s ‘Close My Eyes’ and ‘Just Want To Live’ were even more ambitious, two epic tracks built around surging choruses and crashing crescendos. By this point in their career, the Open were routinely being compared to bands such as the Verve and Doves and rather unfairly being trumpeted as the saviours of UK rock music. Their debut, The Silent Hours, released in summer 2004, was hailed in the national press as the British rock album of the year. Despite the critical acclaim, however, the album received scant commercial reward, a fate which also befell the follow-up Statues.