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A in 2000
|Origin||Suffolk, England, United Kingdom|
Shortly after releasing their fourth album, Teen Dance Ordinance in 2005, the band briefly split. In 2007 A reunited for a one-off gig, and have been touring sporadically ever since, most recently playing the main stage at 2000 Trees 2019. They have yet to release an album since 2005.
Formation, How Ace Are Buildings and A vs. Monkey Kong (1993–2000)
The band began in Suffolk in the early 90s as 'Grand Designs', named after the song by Rush. The founder members were twins Jason and Adam Perry and their friend Mark Chapman, with bassist Stevie Swindon and the twins' younger brother Giles Perry. They cited Rush, the Beach Boys, Van Halen and the Beastie Boys among their influences.
After changing their name to A in 1993, and abandoning their early progressive rock-inspired sound for a more punk rock style, they signed a European recording contract with Warner Bros. Records UK in 1996 and released their debut LP How Ace Are Buildings in 1997. Also in 1997, the band briefly appeared in the music video for "Anthem" by the Wildhearts. A found a healthy underground reception and even had a couple of low-charting singles in the UK.
Although A achieved some recognition with How Ace Are Buildings, bassist Stevie Swindon decided to quit the band. He was replaced by bassist and future BBC Radio 1 Rock Show DJ Daniel P Carter. Swindon went on to become a member of Flotation Toy Warning.
A's second album A Vs. Monkey Kong followed in 1999. The band then toured the world and enjoyed a small degree of success worldwide, especially in Germany. They released a live album, Exit Stage Right in 2000.
Hi-Fi Serious and commercial success (2002)
Hi-Fi Serious was their third album, released in 2002. It was preceded by their biggest single to date, "Nothing", which became the band's first and only top ten hit when it reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. "Nothing" was followed by top 20 hit "Starbucks", named after the coffee chain.
The tour following Hi-Fi Serious saw the band playing their largest venues to date, headlining the 5,000 capacity Brixton Academy as part of their Inner-City Sumo Tour. At the end of the year they won the Kerrang! award for Best British Band.
Teen Dance Ordinance and hiatus (2005)
A released their fourth album, Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO), on 27 June 2005. The album had been recorded two years earlier, but was heavily delayed due to Jason Perry's illness and disputes with the record company. It featured a more straight rock sound and displayed an almost complete absence of the keyboards and sampling that marked the early sound of the band. Unlike their last two albums, Teen Dance Ordinance was not released in the US. Hollywood Records agreed early on to release it in the US, but ultimately did not.
Following the release of Teen Dance Ordinance in 2005, the band worked on other projects. Jason Perry spent time writing, recording, and touring with Matt Willis, formerly of Busted, and has now become a successful producer, working with the likes of the Blackout, Kids in Glass Houses, and McFly. Adam Perry and Daniel P Carter briefly became full-time members of the Bloodhound Gang: Perry replaced drummer Willie the New Guy in 2005, and Carter replaced guitarist Lupus Thunder in 2009.
Carter continued writing material with Jason Perry and artists such as McFly, as well as playing bass in Matt Willis' band for his first album. He also plays guitar and lead vocals in hardcore punk band, Hexes. He has hosted BBC Radio 1's Rock Show since 25 September 2006.
Mark Chapman went into teaching, and has played in the bands Malpractice, alongside drum'n'bass producer Adam F, and 'MiLLS,' fronted by former Cable drummer Richie Mills. Giles Perry went on work for the BBC, and has also produced videos for Hundred Reasons and Biffy Clyro.
When questioned at the Download Festival in 2007, Daniel Carter said the band would be reuniting for a "few shows" at the end of the year. In a 2008 interview, Jason Perry explained the hiatus and expressed how much he had enjoyed being in the band, reiterating the desire to record and tour again in the future.
In August 2008, Adam Perry revealed six tour dates supporting the Wildhearts on the band's forum, noting that: "This is going to be wicked and we are grateful to the Wildhearts for dragging us from our retirement! Plus there are now big plans afoot to start the new record for next year."
John Mitchell played his first show with the band on 3 December 2008 at the Sheffield Carling Academy supporting the Wildhearts.
Later work (2009 – present)
A played a 10-date UK tour in December 2009, supported by This City. On 13 May 2010, Bowling For Soup singer Jaret Reddick announced A as support band for their Autumn tour. A then announced on their own Twitter on 26 May 2010 that Daniel P. Carter would be returning to the band for this tour.
A played a one-off show at the Kasbah nightclub, Coventry on 1 December 2012. In June 2015, they played warm-up concerts in St Albans and Royal Tunbridge Wells before headlining the 4th stage at that year's Download Festival. Andrew "Shay" Sheehy, formerly of Kids in Glass Houses, made his first appearance with A at these shows when he joined as bass player.
In February 2018, A embarked on an 8 date UK tour in support of Hell Is for Heroes, joined by new bassist Dougie Poynter. In November, the band went on a 9 date tour playing the album Hi-Fi Serious in full, with support from Wheatus and InMe.
In November 2019, the band played eight dates in the UK playing the album A vs. Monkey Kong in full. Support was provided by '68 and False-Heads.
- Jason Perry - lead vocals (1993–present)
- Mark Chapman - guitar (1993–present)
- Adam Perry - drums (1993–present)
- Giles Perry - keyboards & backing vocals (1993–present)
- Tim Hillier Brook - bass (2019-present)
- Steve Swindon - bass (1993–97)
- John Mitchell - bass (2008–09)
- Daniel P. Carter - bass & backing vocals (1997-2007, 2010–2012)
- Andrew "Shay" Sheehy - bass (2015)
- Dougie Poynter - bass & backing vocals (2017–2018)
- How Ace Are Buildings - (1997)
- A vs. Monkey Kong - (1999)
- Hi-Fi Serious - (2002)
- Teen Dance Ordinance - (2005)
- "home magazine elle decor maximum at". Verseonemagazine.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
- "A-Communication • View topic - "A" vs The Wildhearts!!!!!!! December 2008". A-communication.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
- "'A' on Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
- "'A' Tricky Disco". kasbahnightclub.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Download Festival Forums". Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- "'A' on Facebook". facebook.com. Retrieved 20 December 2017.