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Koopa was formed in Essex, England, in 2000, originally termed Elastic Flange. The group garnered mild attention from a handful of various sized labels after vocalist/guitarist Ollie Cooper gave out some demos while a student at a Brighton "rock school" in the fall of 2002. The band was contacted months after the fact to record some additional demos, to which they agreed. The resulting music was to the liking of the involved labels, but when offered more studio time, the band ultimately declined to work on their music independently. After a period of outside job and school commitments that limited the band's ability to tour a lot, the troupe -- rounded out by vocalist/bassist Joe Murphy and Ollie's brother, drummer Stuart Cooper -- changed its name to Koopa in 2004 and hit the road extensively. Along the way, the band released two singles, "No Trend" and the World Cup-centric "Stand Up 4 England," before issuing the EP Three in a Bed with Bobby George in late 2006. Koopa then became the first unsigned band in U.K. chart history to have a Top 40 hit with a song not released in the traditional sense (on an album) when their download-only single "Blag, Steal & Borrow" hit number 31 in January 2007. That spring, they released their debut album, Blag, Steal & Borrow, in both a download-only digital deluxe version and as a limited-edition CD. In June, Koopa's single "The One Off Song for the Summer" entered the U.K. singles chart, peaking higher than their prior hit, yet the band remained unsigned.
© Corey Apar /TiVo


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