The foundations of Palace Fires were formed in 2005 soon after guitarist Steve Mason first witnessed the warm, dusky vocal tones of Ed Bannard at London indie rock venue Rendition. After the show Steve excitedly called his former band mate, drummer Matt James, recalling Ed’s amazing Mark Lanagan/Jim Morrison-esq voice & mysterious character. That night Steve exchanged numbers with Ed and the trio agreed to meet. On meeting, the three discovered they had a real affiliation despite differences of age, experience & influence. London based Steve & Matt, previous members indie band Gene, listed many rock, blues & soul influences & bands such as Faces, Who, Creedence, Big Star, Hendrix, REM. They had recorded & toured extensively between 1994-2004, notching up 11 UK top 40 singles from 6 LP’s. Nottingham based Ed had grown up loving folk & alternative songwriters such as Dylan, Decemberists, Will Oldham, BDB, The Action, Smog, Tunng etc. He was 24 & yet to break into the industry. They agreed a trial collaboration to see if something of beauty would emerge. The first insuperable song to result from this was the charm ridden, warm, laid back, bluesy folk, anthem ‘Fear Of Falling.’By the end of 2005 they had the basis of 17 songs & an original hybrid, bluesy sound was developing. Despite being based in 2 different cities 3 hours apart, the enjoyment they got from collaborating far outweighed the inconvenience of the frequent travel.
The still nameless trio then looked to move the project on by finding a bassist & starting their first recordings . They recruited multi talented producer, engineer & musician Mike Buchanan on bass & the four headed to Crystal Palace to produce themselves at long time friends band, Grand Drives tiny studio. Adjacent to the studio was ‘Palace Fires’..a shop selling reconditioned fireplaces. Having passed it enough times the project was nameless no more! Palace Fires played their first live show at Tunbridge Wells Forum in March 2006. There followed a number of Club NME shows around the UK & a support slot with Richard Hawley at Shepherds Bush Empire. The band have since had successful London headlines at Water Rats, Metro, Barfly & Islington Academy. The debut single “Nothing Comes Close” was released in August 2006 on the bands own Bespoke Label gaining plays on Radio 1, 2, 6, XFM (playlist) & regional stations. The NME described it as “Glorious, anthemic, super sized ballard rock in the style of late Verve. It’s ace!” E4 music also gave the homemade performance video many airings.
The follow up came in December 2006 entitled “Never Gonna Get Away”. This again was very well received by radio & gained the band debut live sessions on XFM & 6 Music. The Sunday Times made it ‘hottest download’ of the week.
The band then decided to go back to the studio & finish their debut LP. They spent the majority of 2007 doing this & now it's completed. The Fires kicked off 2008 by heading out with Travis on a UK tour. This proved to be a huge success & plans for the strongest single yet, “Fear Of Falling”, are being made for an April release. They also filmed their debut TV performance for Channel 4’s JD Set’s to be aired 14th March live from Newcastle Cluny. They headline the Water Rats on March 19th 2008.
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