Morning Runner were an alternative rock band from Reading, England, that formed in 2003. They released one album, Wilderness Is Paradise Now, following a top 20 single "Burning Benches", before their split in late 2007 due to commercial pressures from their record label, Parlophone.
Morning Runner met in Reading, Berkshire, while in different bands. Pianist Chris "Fields" Wheatcroft moved to Reading from Salisbury, where he had dropped out of his classical music course, and singer/guitarist Matthew Greener moved there with his parents in his early teens. Ali Clewer, drummer, and bassist Tom Derrett are from Reading originally.
Following their formation, the band were soon making waves, signing to Manchester independent record label Faith & Hope in 2003. After putting out The Great Escape 7" in 2004 they played numerous gigs around the country and simultaneously became one of the most sought after bands on the A&R circuit. This led to the band signing with Parlophone in November 2004 and paved the way for a busy schedule in the year ahead.
At the start of 2006, Morning Runner embarked on an extensive three-month headline tour of the UK to promote the release of their debut album. In February, they released the single "Burning Benches", which broke the band into the top 20 of the official UK Singles Chart, as well as being made single of the week by Steve Lamacq, Scott Mills, and Colin and Edith on BBC Radio 1. Their debut album, Wilderness Is Paradise Now, was released shortly afterwards on March 6, 2006, and despite failing to make a significant impact commercially, it was critically well-received.
The band began working on their second album in September 2006. At the beginning of 2007 they played two intimate shows to showcase their new material, one on January 26 at the South Street Arts Centre in Reading, and the other on February 26 at The Zodiac in Oxford. Following more gigs in June and July, the songwriting stage of the next album was said to be nearing completion, and by August the band were seeking a record producer to work with.
However, to the shock of many of their fans, on October 10 2007, Morning Runner posted a message on their official forum announcing they were splitting up. They blamed the split on pressures from their record label, saying that Parlophone had "heaped pressure on us to have a follow up hit record", partly due to the "relative commercial failure" of their first album. Parlophone had said that their music "wasn’t commercially viable", and, after two days of contemplation, the band decided to go its separate ways. Their statement added that Matthew Greener and Ali Clewer would "probably go on to perform together in the future", and thanked fans for their support.
Since their split, Morning Runner's music has continued to be used in other media, notably "Gone Up In Flames" as the theme tune for the E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners and in the soundrack of the EA Sports game Fifa'07, and "Burning Benches" as part of the Adidas 'Impossible is Nothing' advertising campaign.
Matthew Greener and Ali Clewer have now formed a new band with friends called Glass see: http://www.myspace.com/glassofficial
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