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The Spitfires

Idioma disponível: inglês
A mod-inspired act from Watford, England, the Spitfires enjoyed minor success in the U.K. over a 10-year period, before their disbandment in 2022. Comprising vocalist and guitarist Billy Sullivan, bass guitarist Sam Long, drummer Matt Johnson, and keyboardist Chris Chanell, they offered dynamic and powerful songwriting with resolute social commentary. The four friends came together in late 2012, sharing a love of artists such as the Who, the Jam, and the Small Faces. Naming themselves the Spitfires, due to an obsession with mod culture and Sullivan's affinity for the aircraft since an early age, they wrote songs inspired as much by the mid- to late '70s punk scene, as by '60s modernism. The band's first release -- November 2012's "Spark to Start" -- was a comment on attitudes and trends in the music industry in the 21st century. After demoing additional material, they issued a couple more releases in 2013 -- the single, "Tell Me" and a self-titled EP -- promoting these at venues such as Liverpool's Cavern Club, London's 100 Club and at the Brighton-based punk festival, Undercover. The following year, the Spitfires wrote and recorded their debut-full length effort, Response, which was eventually released in mid-2015 through Catch-22. The record graced the Top 70 of the U.K. album chart, while hitting number six in both the independent and vinyl charts. Singles from the album -- such as "Stand Down" and "4AM" -- received widespread airplay on national radio, making 2015 the year in which their profile was at its highest. After touring extensively in support of Response, they returned in 2016 with a sophomore effort, A Thousand Times, which, in comparison to their debut, was cinematic in style and progressive in its scope. That record included the upbeat and determined "So Long," which reached number one on the U.K. vinyl single chart. The group's third set, 2018's Year Zero, nodded to a ska influence -- particularly on tracks such as "Remains the Same" and " Move On" -- as well as utilising a higher production value and flashier sonics. Although Chanell had departed by the release of 2020's Life Worth Living, during this time the Spitfires' sound was bolstered with keys and brass by a number of auxiliary members, both in the studio and onstage. That album was their first to be released by Acid Jazz, and featured the singles "(Just Won't) Keep Me Down" and "Tear This Place Right Down!", the latter bearing a distinct Style Council influence. In December 2021, citing the challenges and uncertainties facing artists in a world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan declared that the Spitfires' fifth album would be their last. Jazzy vignettes interspersed much of the material on February 2022's expansive and inventive Play For Today, which included song styles previously visited by the band, here tinged with a slight electronic influence. Although the Spitfires were forced to cancel a string of dates, they performed a bittersweet farewell show at Camden's Electric Ballroom a week after the album's release. This set was ultimately captured for all on a November-issued live album, but not before Sullivan launched his solo career with the May 2022 single, "Overcome."
© Rob Wacey & James Wilkinson /TiVo
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