Mumm-Ra (band)

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OriginSussex, England[1]
GenresIndie rock, alternative rock
Years active2000–2008, 2012–present
Associated actsWhite Lies, Mirrors
MembersJames "Noo" New
James Arguile
Oli Frost
Niall Buckler
Gareth Jennings
Tommy Bowen
Carl Gent

Mumm-Ra are an English indie rock band originally from Bexhill on Sea. The group was first composed of vocalist, keyboard player, and occasional guitarist James New, guitarists James Arguile and Oli Frost, bassist Niall Buckler, and drummer Gareth Jennings, before being joined by Tommy Bowen in 2006 as touring keyboard and synthesizer player; in 2012, Bowen became a fully fledged member.

Niall Buckler formed the band in 2000, taking their name from Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, the main villain of the 1980s cartoon ThunderCats.[2] They first rose to public attention when they performed with the NME Awards Indie Rock Tour alongside The Automatic, The View, and The Horrors, and were featured in the January 2007 edition of NME as one of ten bands who were "guaranteed to soundtrack" 2007.[3] The band released their debut album These Things Move in Threes in 2007, which spawned the singles "Out of the Question" "What Would Steve Do?" and "She's Got You High" before entering hiatus in April 2008.

In 2012, the band made their live return, before announcing a full comeback in 2013 with new material. New tracks "Technicolour", "Your Father's Son", and "Jeremy" were released across the year, with an 8 track EP titled Back to the Shore released on 17 February 2014.


Formation & early releases (2000–2006)[edit]

After being "hotly tipped" by music magazine NME,[4] the band were announced as the act to open for The Automatic on the 2007 NME Awards Tour along with The View and The Horrors.[5]

These Things Move in Threes and hiatus (2007–2008)[edit]

The band released their debut album, These Things Move In Threes on 28 May 2007 proceeded by singles "Out of the Question" and "What Would Steve Do?" and followed by "She's Got You High", which would go to gain significant popularity through being featured in the soundtrack of (500) Days of Summer.[6] "Starlight" had been slated to be the fourth single but it was ultimately never released. The band was in the process of writing material for their second album, and had trialled some new tracks live on their tour of Japan and then on what transpired to be their final UK tour, but no further details of their second album was ever released. Gareth Jennings came back to Bexhill on 15 July 2007, to appear on radio station Bexhill FM. A whole hour was dedicated to Mumm-Ra, where the breakfast show presenter Richard Harris played a whole hour of their music, as well as their inspirations and their second album.

On 17 April 2008, the band released a statement announcing that they had decided to split; "after 7 years, 11 months and 21 days of writing and playing music together us Mumm-ra boys have decided our journey as a band has come to an end". The reason for the split was not cited.[7]

Reformation and Back to the Shore (2013–present)[edit]

Before entering hiatus the band had begun performing a host of new material at shows, including "Sticks and Stones", "Secrets", "Clowns" and "Jeremy".[8]

In October 2012 the band reformed to perform two sold out dates at Flairz Retro Bar in Hastings.[9] In February 2013 the band began teasing a comeback over Twitter, before formally announcing their full return along with plans to release new material & a new track titled "Technicolour" on 7 February, declaring "everything's ready to go and we hope to have something for your ears in the next couple of months. To whet your appetite until that time, here is a little acoustic number called Technicolour."[10] On 15 April the band released their new track "Technicolour" as an EP on Bandcamp along with a second new track "Your Father's Son" and a previously unreleased track from the These Things Move In Threes recording sessions, titled "Ho Hey!". Discussing the track the band noted that "Technicolour" was first written in 2007 but was recorded by James New in his home studio after the announcement of the band's return "stirred some public interest, frankly a lot more than I expected".[11] New describes the Technicolour EP as a "taster", and that more material would be recorded as a full band at a later date. On 20 September 2013 the band released their first track as a full, reformed band, titled "Jeremy".

The band performed their second show since reforming on 1 November 2013 to a sold-out audience at The Barfly, Camden. In January 2014 the band were announced as one of the acts for Acoustic Lakeside Festival in Austria which takes place on 25–26 July. On 17 February 2014 the band released Back to the Shore, an EP with eight tracks; "Goodbye", "Lizzy Lu", "Last Look", "Make Pretend", "Technicolour", "Sticks & Stones", "Jeremy" and "Chasing Footsteps".


  • James "Noo" New – lead vocals, synthesisers, keyboards & guitar
  • James "Tate" Arguile – guitar, vocals
  • Niall Buckler – bass, vocals
  • Oli Frost – guitar, vocals
  • Gareth "The Rock" Jennings – drums
  • Tommy Bowen – synthesisers & keyboards (touring 2006–2008, official member 2012–present)




Single Year Peak chart positions Album
"Song B" 2006 Black Hurts Day and the Night Rolls On
"Out of the Question" 45 These Things Move In Threes
"What Would Steve Do?" 2007 40
"She's Got You High" 42
"Technicolour" 2013 - Back to the Shore
"Jeremy" -
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.


  • The Dance in France (self-released 8 track EP 2005)
  • The Dance on the Shore (self-released 8 track EP 2006)
  • What Would Steve Do? (self-released 7", April 2006)
  • Black Hurts Day and the Night Rolls On (CD + 10", July 2006)
  • Technicolour (self-released 3 track EP, April 2013)
  • Back to the Shore (self-released 8 track EP, February 2014)

Other contributions[edit]


  1. ^ "Mumm-Ra split up". NME. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Natives Of The Third Earth – Mumm-Ra". Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Mumm-Ra:These Things Move In Threes". NME. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Hotly-tipped new bands sign up for Brighton festival". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  5. ^ "ShockWaves NME Awards Tour 2007 Indie Rock line-up". NME. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  6. ^ "This Week's Releases: 28 May 2007". NME. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Mumm-Ra split up". NME. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Mumm-Ra premiere new track at V Festival". NME. 27 August 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Indie band returns for two nights only". Hastings Observer. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Hello everyone". 7 March 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Mumm-ra". A Music Blog, Yea?. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014.