Alfie (band)

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Origin Manchester, England
Genres Indie rock, folk rock
Years active 1999–2005
Labels Twisted Nerve Records
Regal Zonophone Records
Associated acts The Beep Seals
Past members Lee Gorton
Ian Smith
Matt McGeever
Sam Morris
Sean Kelly

Alfie were an English indie rock band from Manchester. They were originally signed to Twisted Nerve Records before moving to EMI sub-label Regal Zonophone Records.

Twisted Nerve years (1999-2002)[edit]

The band signed to the Twisted Nerve label in 1999, and were recruited by label co-founder Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy) to be his support act and backing band.[1]

After three vinyl-only EP releases, they released the album, If You Happy with You Need Do Nothing, a compilation of the latter two of these. In 2002, there followed the first album proper, A Word in Your Ear, and their first US tour. At this time, they were close to fellow Manchester bands Doves, I Am Kloot and Elbow, with whom they shared a rehearsal complex.[1] However, while these bands and labelmate, Badly Drawn Boy, all won or were nominated for the Mercury Prize, similar recognition eluded Alfie.

Parlophone years (2002-2005)[edit]

Later in 2002, the band signed to Parlophone, for whom they recorded third album, Do You Imagine Things? with Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. The album was praised as being 'a great leap forward'[2] and 'a warm record [that is] above the indie quagmire'.[2] Despite the favourable reviews, the album failed to break the UK Top 40.[3][not in citation given]

The fourth album, Crying at Teatime was released in 2005, and heralded in advance by Gorton as full of 'triumphant moments' and a 'bigger sound' than previous albums.[4] Again, reviews were favourable, claiming they had 'finally found the missing piece of their jigsaw'.[5]

However, with no further chart progress made, on 27 October 2005, they announced they were breaking up, with Gorton stating that 'it's hard to keep faith when it feels like no-one's listening'.[6]

Post break-up[edit]

After the band split up, guitar Ian Smith and bassist Sam Morris played in The Beep Seals who were active between 2006 and 2009. Singer Lee Gorton has not released any new material, but has focused on organising gigs in Manchester and London.[7]

Their song "Indoor League", from the album Do You Imagine Things? was used for an advertisement on Channel 4 for Channel 4 Radio.

Origin of name[edit]

According to Gorton, the name Alfie "was just plucked out of the air" but being one of the first bands alphabetically had helped them. For example, when "we played All Tomorrow's Parties, it looked like we were headlining".[1]

Band members[edit]


Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Alfie" (EP) (2000)
  • "Bookends" (EP) (2000)
  • "Montevideo" (EP) (2000)
  • "You Make No Bones" (2001) - No. 61 UK
  • "A Word In Your Ear" (2002) - No. 66 UK
  • "People" (2003) - No. 53 UK
  • "Stuntman" (2003) - No. 56 UK
  • "No Need" (2004) - No. 66 UK
  • "Your Own Religion" (2005) - No. 61 UK[8]


  • If You Happy with You Need Do Nothing (March 2001) - No. 62 UK[8]
  • A Word in Your Ear (March 2002)
  • Do You Imagine Things? (September 2003)
  • Crying at Teatime (August 2005)


  1. ^ a b c "Alfie Interview". August 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Alfie: Do You Imagine Things?". Uncut. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "EveryHit". 
  4. ^ "Alfie Use Their Other Head". City Life. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Alfie Crying At Teatime Review". 18 January 2005. Archived from the original on 13 February 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 18. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]