Brigadier Ambrose playing cricket in the bathroom
|Genres||Alternative-pop, Indie pop|
|Associated acts||Vlks, Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society|
Brigadier Ambrose are an alternative pop band from Chatham, England. After releasing a series of digital only singles, the band released their debut album Fuzzo on CD in early 2010 through their own Brigadier Records (distributed by Nova/Universal). Fuzzo was entered into the Mercury Music Prize for 2010. The band have not released anything since and haven't performed live since 2008.
Brigadier Ambrose formed in 2006 when school friends David Goggin, Matthew Boorman and Daniel Boorman began recording songs they had written at Goggin's house in Chatham. The band was completed when Goggin met Karl Butler through a university friend, and the foursome began rehearsing and writing in a studio in Maidstone, Kent. The first year was spent playing low key gigs in the Medway Towns, until a demo of the track Police made it onto Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone show on BBC 6 Music. More airplay followed, and the year ended with Alan McGee inviting the band to play at his Death Disco club night at Notting Hill Arts Club twice in consecutive months.
2007 and 2008
The band then spent some time recording songs with Jim Riley at his Ranscombe Studios in Chatham. A song from these sessions, the Pavement influenced How Popular You Are, started picking up radio and club airplay in the UK and the band decided to form their own record company, Brigadier Records, to release it as a single. The song, described by the BBC as "quirky guitar pop", was supported by Phill Jupitus and Huw Stephens and backed with a song from the same Jim Riley sessions, the chiming Back In The Old Days. The release saw the band's first artwork collaboration with Christoff Spurr, who has gone on to design all of the band's sleeves since. The single proved to be a big breakthrough for the band, who were then invited to record a Maida Vale session for BBC Radio One. Brigadier Ambrose followed this up with a small tour of England, a highlight being the Latitude Festival (travelling to which some of the band were involved in a motorway crash with a juggernaut).
The band then chose to turn down a series of record company offers, preferring instead to continue working independently by releasing their own material via Brigadier Records. They rounded off a hectic 2007 by recording and releasing a Christmas single, the chaotic Decembered, which was nominated for single of the week on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's BBC Radio Two show. It was released on Brigadier Records on 10 December 2007.
2008 began with BBC Radio One including the then unreleased Mrs Peel We're Needed in their Introducing Tips For 2008. The song marked a change of pace for the band following their frantic opening singles and drew comparisons with the likes of Felt and Pulp. Mrs Peel We're Needed was written after the tagline in the cult 1960s series The Avengers and featured The Cut Of Your Jib as a B-side. The band eventually released the single in April 2008, accompanied by a tour with BBC Introducing and the fringe event of Radio 1's Big Weekend. Brigadier Ambrose released their 4th single, the double A side Police/There Has Been A Murder In Nasons, on 1 September 2008, which followed on in the footsteps of the previous singles, gaining significant national airplay and positive critical acclaim.
A gig at Alan McGee's seminal The Queen Is Dead clubnight at London's Borderline venue in December 2008 had to be cancelled due to an injury to drummer Karl Butler. Despite receiving continual offers, the band never played live again - their final gig being at Club Fandango's 229 in London in September 2008.
The band finally released their debut album Fuzzo on CD and digital download in February 2010. The album was in the longlist for 2010's Mercury Music Prize but did not make the final shortlist.
There are no plans for new Brigadier Ambrose releases, though the 2007 recording Jesus Christ, Meet A Wisher Hat and an out-take of Fuzzo's Chatham Hill were made available as a free download for charity through the arts organisation Medway Eyes in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
- Daniel Boorman – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Matthew Boorman – piano, organ, keyboards, vocals
- Karl Butler – drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
- David Goggin – guitar, keyboards, vocals
- "How Popular You Are" (April 2007, Brigadier)
- "Decembered" (December 2007, Brigadier)
- "Mrs Peel We're Needed" (April 2008, Brigadier)
- "Police" / "There Has Been A Murder In Nasons" (September 2008, Brigadier)
- "Helium" (radio promo only) (October 2009, Brigadier)
- "Mind Reel" (radio promo only) (January 2010, Brigadier)
- "Yours, Danube Song" (radio promo only) (June 2010, Brigadier)
- "Uh-Oh" (radio promo only) (November 2010, Brigadier)
- Fuzzo (Digital release November 2009, Brigadier)
- Fuzzo (CD release February 2010, Brigadier)