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Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England (1989 – 1997, 2001 – 2002, 2007 – 2009)

EMF were an / band that formed in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England in 1989. Best known for their 1990 hit “Unbelievable”, the band consisted of James Atkin (vocals, guitar), Ian Dench (guitar, keyboards), Derry Brownson (keyboard, samples), Zach Foley (bass) and Mark Decloedt (drums). The band originally disbanded in 1997 and reformed in 2001. Foley died of a drug overdose in January 2002 and the band only played four more shows that year before disbanding once more. The band re-formed for a second reunion in 2007, which ended in May of 2009.

The baseball-capped, baggy-shorted EMF— standing for either ‘Epsom Mad Funkers’ or, in the words of their eponymously titled song, ‘Ecstasy Mother Fuckers’ (the band could never quite make up their minds)— made their first attack on the U.K. music scene in the autumn of 1990 with the Jesus Jones-influenced Top 10 single “Unbelievable.” Sampling hard-hitting U.S. comic Andrew Dice Clay, the single was a catchy pop pile-up featuring fresh-faced vocalist James Atkin’s sneery schoolboy vocals, band leader Ian Dench’s swaggering rock guitar and a booming bassline, courtesy of Zac Foley. mischief-maker Derry Brownson (keyboards), and Mark Decloedt (drums).

The new social scene of ‘’ had exploded in 1990, and every previously no-hoper band with half an idea sold their souls to hitch a ride on the ensuing ‘’ bandwagon. EMF’s ideas were better formed than most, despite the fact that they had been signed by a major label (EMI/Parlophone) after only a handful of gigs.


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