RIOT formed when Philm and Stuart merged in early 1998, drawn
together by a mutual Syd Barrett fixation. Their debut EP
'Into The Chicago Abyss' came out on their own Victory Garden record
label on 3rd September 1998, and was described by James Oldham in
the NME as "magnificent . GBV meets FSA".
Earworm Records called around one day and the next thing the Riot
boys knew they had split singles, albums and compilation appearances
coming out of, well, their ears.
By the time they played their first gig in October 1999 (opening
for The Minders, Ma Cherie For Painting and Tank)
they were the proud owners of another two VG EPs - 'It's Science
vs. The World !' and 'Quality Goods' as well as a whole hatful of
great press. The end of 1999 saw the release of the mini concept
album 'Sunhead', a collaboration with arch-noiseniks Ansuz Lúnasa
recorded in celebration of that year's solar eclipse.
A chaotically triumphant gig at the Notting Hill Arts Club, headlining
with Tompaulin and Kicker (you really should see the
video !) preceded their most accessible and acclaimed 7" yet - the
'Amplifier Morning' EP. The band have had radio play on Radio 1
and XFM and, somewhat bafflingly, frequent spins on numerous French
and Swedish stations. Voilà, Bjorn !
A natural reticence to playing live (3 dates in 3 years) was overcome
by accepting the support slot for the Acid Mothers Temple
May 2001 UK/Ireland tour (8 dates in 10 days). In the sold-out,
psyched-out environs of such heaven holes as Cork's Lobby Bar and
Brighton's Freebutt, a more spacious and epic Riot sound started
to emerge. The roll-over riff repetition of 'Rugby Players Make
Good Businessmen' would segue itself effortlessly into 'In The Valley
Of The Broken Down', a fifteen minute coruscating slice of intense
science future bloodletting. For instance. From 12 songs in 22 minutes
to 3 songs in half-a-bloody-hour !
Offers started pouring in, from Architectural Institutes to Alan
McGee's Poptones. Expect future releases on Earworm, Enraptured,
Jonson Family and their very own Victory Garden Records.