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  • Years Active

    1997 – present (23 years)

  • Founded In

    London, England, United Kingdom

  • Members

    • Alasdair MacLean
    • James Hornsey
    • Mark Keen
    • Mel Draisey (2006 – present)

The Clientele are a London-based band with Alasdair MacLean on vocals and guitar, Mark Keen on drums, James Hornsey on bass and Mel Draisey on Keys and Violin.

MacLean and Hornsey began collaborating musically while still in school, after MacLean saw that Hornsey had written the name of the band Felt on his pencil case. The band formed in 1991, with the current lineup along with Innes Phillips, who shared singing and songwriting duties with MacLean. The band recorded an album's worth of material but failed to get any label interest. Innes left the band (and would go on to found The Relict); the rest of the group re-formed in 1997, and they released a number of singles that were eventually collected on Suburban Light (2000). The Violet Hour (2003) was their first album proper, which again saw great acclaim, but, as yet, little commercial success. August 2005 saw the release of their second full album, Strange Geometry. Draisey joined the band in 2006 just in time for band's second tour of the States.

The band is more successful in America, where they are signed to Merge Records, home of bands such as Lambchop and Spoon, than in their native Britain.

Their music is noted for its reverb-rich production and MacLean's distinctive breathy vocals and jangly guitar playing. Their lyrics take a strong inspiration from surrealist literature and art from the early 20th century. "We Could Walk Together" quotes a line ("like a silver ring thrown into the flood of my heart") from a 1928 poem by French surrealist Joe Bousquet; the song "What Goes Up" quotes the poem "Stupidity Street" by Ralph Hodgson in its entirety.

The song "I Can't Seem To Make You Mine" from their album "Strange Geometry" is used in the movie "The Lake House" (2006).

Their album 'God Save The Clientele' was released on May 8th 2007. 'Bonfires on the Heath' followed in 2009, and 'Minotaur' in 2010. Their last one, 'Music For The Age Of Miracles' was released on september 22th.

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