Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Art Brut

Art Brut are an English and German indie rock band. Their debut album, Bang Bang Rock & Roll, was released on 30 May 2005, with its follow up, It's a Bit Complicated, released on 25 June 2007. Named after French painter Jean Dubuffet's definition of outsider art -- art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation—South London's Art Brut were tagged by NME as part of the "Art Wave" scene that also includes bands such as Athlete, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party.

The band was formed in 2003 and played its first gig in May of that year. The band recorded Brutlegs later in 2003 containing the first versions of "Formed a Band", "Modern Art" and "Moving to LA" and made it available. Angular Recording Corporation put out a compilation featuring "Formed a Band". A journalist heard the song and sent an MP3 to Rough Trade and the label offered Art Brut a deal to release it as a single. Frank Black of The Pixies stated he was a fan soon after hearing them.

"Formed a Band" was released in the UK as a single in May 2004 reaching #52 on the charts. It also appeared on the soundtrack to FIFA Street 2 - a game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube and PlayStation Portable. Blender described them as the best unsigned band in the UK. During the rest of 2004, they played gigs throughout the UK with The Fades including a first anniversary gig at the Tate Britain.

Another bootleg EP Brutlegs 04 was recorded featuring "Good Weekend", "Bang Bang Rock & Roll", and an acoustic version of "Moving to LA". A double A-side was released in December 2004 on Fierce Panda reaching #49 on the charts. The album Bang Bang Rock & Roll was released in May 2005 with "Emily Kane" as the first single. The latter missed the UK Top 40 by two sales, yet remains the highest-charting single on Fierce Panda. Bang Bang Rock & Roll was produced by John Fortis, who has also worked with artists such as Razorlight, Maxim Reality, The Pipettes, Neneh Cherry and Assembly Now.

Art Brut have a quite widespread following of "franchises", whose names range from AB0 (the original Art Brut) to AB3.14/Pi, AB² or even to AB17. The band We Are Scientists are also an Art Brut franchise, AB47. These franchises often record and play Art Brut songs during performances.

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