Longpigs were a British alternative rock band who rose to fame on the fringe of Britpop in the 1990s; comprising Crispin Hunt (vocals), Richard Hawley (guitar), Simon Stafford (bass guitar) and former Cabaret Voltaire member Dee Boyle (drums) who was replaced by Andy Cook (drums) on their second album. Hailing from Sheffield, the group had success with singles such as "She Said", "On and On", and their well-received debut album The Sun Is Often Out (1996).
Early career (1993)
The group initially signed with Elektra Records. Just before they released their first single, two major crises struck the band. Lead singer Hunt was seriously injured in a car accident resulting in his being in a coma for three days. Shortly after, the UK arm of the record label closed leaving the Longpigs' future in doubt. Elektra set a price of £500,000 to release them from their recording contract.
The first success (1994-1996)
The Longpigs' contract was purchased by U2's new record label, Mother Records. The band toured extensively, opening for Echobelly, Supergrass and finally Radiohead in early 1995. Their first singles on Mother Records, "Happy Again", "She Said" and "Jesus Christ" did little in the charts. The band played the 1995 Reading Festival. The new track "All Hype" was featured on the compilation CD Volume 14: Reading '95 Special although was never released as a single.
Their fourth single, "Far", managed to hit the UK Top 40. In March 1996 this was followed by the ballad "On and On", which received considerable radio airplay and hit the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart. In April 1996 the band released their debut album The Sun Is Often Out, which was declared one of 1996's 50 best albums by both Q and Melody Maker. On the heels of their newfound success, the band then repackaged and re-released "She Said" which also reached the UK Top 20 in June 1996, which was followed by "Lost Myself" (#22).
Trying to crack America (1997)
Initially things seemed promising in America. In 1997, their single "On and On" was added to the playlist of the influential Los Angeles, California alternative radio station KROQ-FM briefly reaching the Alternative U.S. Top 10. The song was also featured on the Mission: Impossible soundtrack (although it was not used in the film). They toured America with Echo & the Bunnymen and The Dandy Warhols, and even opened for U2 on several dates of their PopMart world tour. This tour featured a new track "Beyond Good and Evil" which was never officially released. The band also played the 1997 Glastonbury Festival, with the live track "Travel" (formerly known as "Far" B-side "Amateur Dramatics") being featured on the official BBC live Glastonbury compilation Mud for It. The song "On and On" can be found on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Face starring Robert Carlyle. The song was co-written with an uncredited Music graduate from Sheffield University. The song On and On can be heard at the end of the television show Psych episode 'Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller' (Series: 3 Episode: 2)
Decline and split (1999-2000)
Their second album, Mobile Home, was released in October 1999, along with the two singles "Blue Skies" and "The Frank Sonata". After briefly reaching the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart, sales of the album faded away. Dee Boyle left the band, Mother Records folded in 2000, and the rest of the band split up shortly afterwards. Guitarist Richard Hawley went on to tour with Pulp, before embarking upon a successful solo career.
At a Pretenders concert in Sheffield in 1999 former drummer Dee Boyle attacked singer Crispin Hunt, resulting in the latter requiring six stitches to a cut beneath the eye.
Recent projects (2004 onwards)
Hawley currently enjoys a successful solo career. His fourth and seventh solo albums, Coles Corner and Standing at the Sky's Edge were nominated for the Mercury Prize, though both times lost out, to fellow Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys and art rock band Alt-J respectively. Hawley has also worked with Jarvis Cocker in the electro group Relaxed Muscle. Simon Stafford has also played as part of Jarvis Cocker's backing band on his solo endeavours.
Stafford played in Hawley's band for a year and went on to join Joe Strummer's band The Mescaleros, playing with them until Strummer's death in 2002. He now plays with Jarvis Cocker and various local Sheffield bands playing various instruments.
In 2004, Hunt lent his voice to the self-titled album by electronic supergroup Mayonnaise on the Lunaticworks/BMG label. The band also featured Howie B. The following year, Hunt joined a band called Gramercy, with Nigel Hoyle (ex Gay Dad) and Dylan Rippon. The band recorded a single in August 2005 entitled "Hold On" (Redemption Records), which had begun to pick up airplay on BBC Radio 2 when the band split before ever releasing any material.
Hunt has worked as a songwriter and/or record producer for Ellie Goulding, Penguin Prison, Midnight Lion, Florence and The Machine, Newton Faulkner, Cee-Lo Green, Natalie Imbruglia, Gabriella Cilmi, Lisa Mitchell, Lissie, Fighting with Wire, Richard Walters, Josephine Oniyama, Clare Maguire, Liam Frost, Ron Sexsmith, Ej, Mark Owen, Kate Walsh, and Max Tuohy.
- The Sun Is Often Out (1996) UK No. 26
- Mobile Home (1999) UK No. 33
- On and On: The Anthology (2013)
- "She Said" - Mother Records (1995) UK No. 67
- "Jesus Christ" - Mother Records (1995) UK No. 67
- "Far" - Mother Records (1996) UK No. 37
- "On and On" - Mother Records (1996) UK No. 16, U.S. Modern Rock Tracks No. 17
- "She Said" - Mother Records (1996) UK No. 16
- "Lost Myself" - Mother Records (1996) UK No. 22
- "Blue Skies" - Mother Records (1999) UK No. 21
- "The Frank Sonata" - Mother Records (1999) UK No. 57
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography, 5th, Edinburgh: Mojo Books.
- Longpig In Stitches After Reunion With Drummer | News. Nme.Com (1999-10-13). Retrieved on 2012-12-15.
- 3.0 3.1 EveryHit.com - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
|Crispin Hunt Dee Boyle Richard Hawley Simon Stafford|
|Studio albums||The Sun Is Often Out · Mobile Home|
|Singles||"Happy Again" · "She Said" · "Jesus Christ" · "Far" · "On and On" · "She Said" (Re-release) · "Lost Myself" · "Blue Skies" · "The Frank Sonata"|
|Related articles||Mother Records|