3D Great Rock Bible
Longpigs iTunes Tracks

Longpigs

In the shadow of forerunners PULP, Sheffield’s steely contribution to the Britpop movement, LONGPIGS’ career got off to a less than encouraging start when a car crash left frontman/guitarist Crispin Hunt in a coma. Their problems compounded when a half-million £ deal with the UK arm of Elektra Records went awry, the quartet were effectively prevented from recording and playing live for around two years, that is, until lawyer, John Stratham, bailed them out.
Formed 1993, by Hunt, guitarist Richard Hawley (ex-TREEBOUND STORY), bassist Simon Stafford and drummer Dee Boyle (ex-CHAKK, ex-CABARET VOLTAIRE) proved they’d staying power as their world looked to be teetering on a breakdown before they’d even kicked a ball. With an album’s worth of previously recorded Gil Norton-produced material in limbo, LONGPIGS eventually secured a new contract with U2’s Mother imprint, re-recording their debut in the process.
Gate-crashing the Top 75 with their second single, `She Said’ (`Happy Again’ had flopped in March ’95), `Jesus Christ’ and `Far’ saw minor chart progress on the back of tours supporting the likes of RADIOHEAD, ECHOBELLY and SUPERGRASS. Finally released in the spring of ‘96, THE SUN IS OFTEN OUT {*8} spawned a secondary batch of classy hit singles; `On And On’, a re-issued `She Said’ and `Lost Myself’, hovering around the Top 20 and calling to mind the heady, sonic swagger of SUEDE, The AUTEURS and, occasionally the dark majesty of RADIOHEAD.
Subsequent tours on American soil had equipped the band with a sense of urgency, although support slots to U2, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN and The DANDY WARHOLS (plus a few film soundtrack appearances) had only brought about column inches due to in-fights between Hunt and Boyle; the latter had allegedly found God and was unceremoniously ousted from the band by early ’99, while a single, `Swim’, failed to materialise. Why it took three odd years for a follow-up set was anybody’s guess, but with drummer Andy Cook (ex-DYLANS) installed as a replacement, that “difficult” second album, MOBILE HOME {*6}, finally hit the Top 40 in October ’99, premiered by a near Top 20 effort, `Blue Skies’.
The LONGPIGS were at long last getting back to business. However, just as things looked to be on an even keel (even though `The Frank Sonata’ stalled outside the Top 50), the bitter Boyle was reported to have stuck a glass into Hunt’s face after they bumped into each other at a PRETENDERS gig; the frontman received six stitches. Inevitably, relatively poor sales left their flagging label in a whirl and, in turn, out in the cold, as both parties folded post-millennium. With LONGPIGS out of contention, and after augmenting PULP on tour, RICHARD HAWLEY embarked on a solo career, releasing his eponymous mini-set the following spring. Heartworn, and sweet with lush melodies, the record paved the way for a sophomore release, `Late Night Final’ (also 2001); Stafford augmented HAWLEY (as did Cook) before the bass man joined JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS. Hunt went on to front Mayonnaise with HOWIE B; he duly worked as a songwriter, record producer and session man for a plethora of pop stars including FLORENCE + THE MACHINE, Ellie Goulding and NEWTON FAULKNER.
© MC Strong 1998-2003/GRD // rev-up MCS Oct2015

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