After the release of 2008's See You In Another City, Birmingham's Blakfish played over 365 shows through-out the UK and Europe, averaging more than a show every other day, covering 16 countries, clocking over 30,000 miles and destroying 3 vans in the process. Their unrelenting work ethic and blind determination could have been perceived as some kind of mission to save music, or a calling that the band couldn't ignore. The reality was a far cry from this romantic ideal. Their busy schedule was actually just a way for the band to keep out of full time work and to have what can loosely be described as a job that involves drinking alcohol on a daily basis.
Although this was the case, the bands desire to remain unemployed resulted in Blakfish becoming one of the most revered groups in the British underground. 2009 saw them release their debut full-length Champions on Hassle records to critical acclaim, receiving 4 / 5 in Kerrang!, 9 / 10 in Rocksound and a completely unbiased 1 / 10 in Britains most reputable of music publications, the NME.
Blakfish received extensive radio play, which included Radio 1 and Kerrang! as well as a live XFM session. 2009 also saw the band’s profile rise again by playing Offset festival and at the UK’s first Sonisphere festival between playing numerous festivals all over Europe. ‘Champions’ opening track Economics was featured on ‘Kerrang! - the album 09’ alongside Green Day, Gallows and Slipknot, and also on a Rock Sound cover-mount compilation. Also the song Jeremy Kyle is a Marked Man was featured on the ‘Colin McRae Rally – Dirt 2’ computer game.
The start of 2010 saw the band prepare for another 3 week UK tour and a short jaunt in Japan before flying back out to Redroom studios, Seattle, (Mastodon, Fall Of Troy, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Hey Mercedes) to record album number 2 with ‘Champions’ producer Chris Common. However, on Thursday the 11th of February, 2010 in Bilbao, Spain, mid tour with Biffy Clyro, vocalist/guitarist Sam Manville decided to announce that he could no longer continue as a member of Blakfish. In a message posted on the band's myspace the rest of the remainder of the band apologised to everyone who had supported them since they formed around 2000, closing with that "this was in no way a group decision and state that it is the choice of an individual which unfortunately affects many other people. The three of us and our manager Kirk will surely continue musically in the future as this is all we have ever wanted to do, but regrettably this is the end of the road for Blakfish."
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