They’re an eccentric, motley bunch who have more in common with Half Man Half Biscuit and Pulp than they do with their oft-compared ‘influences’ The Fall. Vocalist Eddie Argos (an ex-goth obsessed with Jonathan Richman and Vincent Van Gogh) had previously been in a band, The Art Goblins, in his hometown of Bournemouth.
Much like Bloc Party, Art Brut’s first gig was an independently promoted show at the Kentish Town Verge. After a number of other gigs round London they recorded a demo named Brutlegs, containing early versions of Formed A Band, Modern Art and Moving To LA, and made it available on their website. Formed A Band first saw the light of day on the debut Angular Records compilation album. After a journalist came across this recording, he sent an MP3 to the label Rough Trade. Within an hour of getting it, the label’s A&R man was in touch offering to release Formed A Band as a single.
Formed A Band was released as a single at the end of March 2004. A gleeful call to arms of sorts, Argos shouts ‘formed a band! We formed a band! Look at us, we formed a band!’. It reached No. 52 on the UK chart, selling 5,000 copies, and cropped up in many end-of-year polls as the one of the best singles of the year, including ‘Blender’ – the USA’s second biggest music mag after ‘Rolling Stone’ – who proclaimed them the best unsigned band in the UK.
In December ’04, their second single finally saw the light. A double A-side of Modern Art and My Little Brother (with B-side These Animal Menswe@r), it was released on the Fierce Panda label and reached No. 49 – scoring the band a bigger hit than before and, perhaps surprisingly, the highest chart position Fierce Panda has ever had.
In late 2010, Art Brut recorded their fourth album, “Brilliant Tragic”, which was released on May 23. The first single from the album is “Lost Weekend”. The album was recorded in Salem, Oregon and is the second to be produced by Frank Black, best known as the frontman of Pixies.