My Life Story

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My Life Story are a British indie pop group who peaked in the mid to late 1990s, when they were regarded as part of the Britpop movement. Fronted by singer/songwriter Jake Shillingford, the group was formed in London around 1991, and inherited their name from an earlier group in which Shillingford had appeared. A cross between a pop group and a chamber orchestra, the band's sound was heavily oriented toward orchestral instruments.


At the time of their debut single, "Girl A, Girl B, Boy C" (1993) produced by Giles Martin son of George, the group had a regular line-up of twelve members. Though the membership fluctuated continually, it rarely dipped into single figures until 1999, when their third album credited just four regular members, though most of the former line-up were still used as session musicians. Their orchestral sound led them to be compared to groups such as Tindersticks and especially The Divine Comedy. Their debut album, Mornington Crescent was released on 10 January 1995. My Life Story enjoyed the most success at the time of their second album The Golden Mile, which was released on 10 March 1997. It spawned five singles that entered the lower half of the UK Singles Chart,[1] but finally disbanded after a series of farewell concerts in December 2000.

On 26 May 2006 the band reformed with the full line-up of thirteen members, to play at the Mean Fiddler (LA2) on Charing Cross Road in London, in support of their forthcoming Best Of album. The gig got a review rating of 10/10 from Planet Sound. A second reunion show took place at the Astoria in London on 8 December 2006. Further reunions have taken place every two years on 13 December 2007 at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, and Koko on 26 November 2009, where the band performed their debut album, Mornington Crescent, for the first time in its entirety. In 2009, it was announced that, to mark 15 years since their debut album, the group would reform and perform the album in full, together with later songs. This concert took place at KOKO which is next door to Mornington Crescent tube station.

My Life Story announced that they were to reunite again to perform The Golden Mile at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 3 March 2012 to celebrate fifteen years since the album's release.

In mid-2013 the group announced their first UK tour in 14 years. Singer Jake Shillingford is reported to have said: "For many years we have only been able to play a big London show due to the sheer size and scale of the band. Now I am able to take my songs out on the road with a stripped down tight rocking outfit."

"I will be joined by various members of My Life Story along my journey around the UK, culminating in our traditional annual London concert with the original bunch, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again, expect a big, bold and brash performance, all foxy horns and horny foxes."[2]

In September 2016 My Life Story released their first single in 16 years, "24 Hour Deflowerer". The launch was marked with a two-night residency at The Borderline in London on 14–15 October, with all audience members receiving a numbered limited edition 7" vinyl of the single.[3]

My Life Story will perform in the Star Shaped Festival,[4] a Britpop revival tour, alongside The Bluetones, Space, Dodgy and Salad, in July/August 2017. The band's current line-up features Jake Shillingford (vocals), Nick Evans (guitar), Chris Hardwick (drums), Jack Hosgood (bass) and Aimee Smith (keys).

Other projects[edit]

The spirit of the band lived on in Shillingford's next project, ExileInside, which drew its influences from 1980s electronica, replacing the lush orchestral sounds of My Life Story with a quirky retro synth based sound.[citation needed] Former band members Aaron Cahill and Mal Campbell appear in the line-up, and the material is engineered by George Shilling. Shilling also produced many My Life Story tracks, including most of the Golden Mile album.

Shillingford released an acoustic solo album in 2009 called Written Large, which featured two new tracks, plus acoustic versions of My Life Story and ExileInside songs.

In 2014 Shillingford formed the production music company Choppersaurus along with writing partner and multi-instrumentalist Nick Evans. Debut single "Motel 66" was released on 27 January 2017, from the album Herx. Tracks "Motel 66" and "Did You Come Alone?" from the album appear in the first series of The Grand Tour. The duo has also composed a trailer for Homeland Series 5 ("Dystopia") and has written toplines for "You Are Not Alone" and "Live on Dreams" by house DJ Mason. Two Choppersaurus tracks were nominated in the UK Music Production Awards 2016[5] – "Trouble in the Delta" for Best Rock Production Music Track and "In Limbo" for Best Trailer Production Music Track.

Shillingford has also presented an electronica music show on the Essex based community radio station Phoenix FM.

Dan Turner the band's keyboard player went on to form the band MacArthur with singer Dom Chapman after the group split in 2000. He landed a recording contract with Artist Network and recorded the Northern Soul influenced album MacArthur working with musicians such as Gary "Mudbone" Cooper (Funkadelic) and Chris Sharrock (The La's, World Party, Robbie Williams, Oasis). As the band were about to release their first single the record company went bankrupt. The music has now been taken on by Fairwood Music.

Original drummer Jason Cooper went on to greater notice as a member of The Cure. He has also collaborated on film and television soundtracks with another former MLS member, cellist Oliver Kraus.


Studio albums
Compilation albums
  • Sex & Violins (The Best of My Life Story) (Exilophone Records 2006)
  • Megaphone Theology (B-Sides and Rarities) (Exilophone Records 2006)
  • "Home Sweet Zoo" (1986)
  • "Girl A, Girl B, Boy C" (1993)
  • "Funny Ha Ha" (1994)
  • "You Don't Sparkle (In My Eyes)" (1995) UK No. 155
  • "The Mornington Crescent Companion EP" (1995)
  • "12 Reasons Why I Love Her" (1996) UK No. 32
  • "Sparkle" (1996) UK No. 34
  • "The King Of Kissingdom" (1997) UK No. 35
  • "Strumpet" (1997) UK No. 27
  • "Duchess" (1997) UK No. 39
  • "If You Can't Live Without Me Then Why Aren't You Dead Yet?" (1998) - Download-only single in Windows Media format (later available as an MP3)
  • "It's A Girl Thing" (1999) UK No. 37
  • "Empire Line" (1999) UK No. 58
  • "Walk/Don't Walk" (2000) UK No. 48[6]
  • "24 Hour Deflowerer" (2016)
  • "Sparkle" was a re-arranged and re-recorded version of "You Don't Sparkle (In My Eyes)".
  • My Life Story produced promotional CDs for a planned single of "You Can't Uneat The Apple" but "Duchess" was released in its place.


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 385. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "2013 Reunion Tour". Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "My Life Story announce new single '24 Hour Deflowerer'". WithGuitars. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  4. ^ "The Bluetones, Space, Dodgy and more team up for 2017 Britpop tour - NME". NME. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Nominations - Production Music Awards". Production Music Awards. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  6. ^ "Chart Log UK". Retrieved 15 March 2011. 

External links[edit]