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Back in 2003 Helmsley, a rural village community who’s nearest alternative heroes numbered Embrace (from Brighouse) and Shed Seven (from York), had a thriving punk-pop underground of late-teens skater bands aping Blink 182 around the local village hall and fete tent scene. Into this Royston Vasey of valley pernk back-biting sprang One Night Only, a punk pop band with a pubescent singer who’s voice was showing its first signs of dropping.
For two years One Night Only paid their Helmsley dues, shaking off their novelty status by tearing the vaulted roof off the local scene with unrefined gigs that were punk bastard pop way beyond their years and lyrics that took a surprisingly accessible tack on the art of teenage angst. With George’s voice and lyrical nous maturing at a stratospheric pace and the band’s sound gradually developing from emo pop into a Kooks-y meld of classic songwriting and jaunty melodic bounce, it was only a matter of time before One Night Only broke out of Helmsley.
And when George brought schoolmate Jack Sails into the band as keyboardist in 2005, that’s exactly what they did, knuckling down to write some “proper songs” like first single ‘You And Me’ and driving for three hours to play gigs in Liverpool to ten people. After eighteen months of rocking the Northern toilet circuit, word spread South of a new noise in the provinces. Last October Steve Lamacq began spinning the demo of ‘You And Me’, prompting the band to really take themselves seriously.
They got about ten and the A&R pack duly pounced: some caught them first at Liverpool’s Cavern Club and within a month every major label in the UK was trekking up to their rehearsal room for a personal showcase. A month later, in March 2007, One Night Only signed with Vertigo Records, hit the road for two months supporting Milburn and The Enemy and then took a break to record their first three singles with Steve Lilywhite before embarking on a jaunt with The Coral and around the nation’s Club NMEs.
Then it’s back into the studio to nail the album, which is already promising a far more widescreen experience than the grandiose-yet-jovial pop of ‘You And Me’ might suggest.
Spanking New 08 Top 10
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