The Music

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The Music
Robert Harvey performing with The Music at Manchester Apollo in 2004
Robert Harvey performing with The Music at Manchester Apollo in 2004
Background information
OriginKippax, Leeds, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock
Years active1999–2011, 2020
LabelsEMI, Hut, Capitol
Associated actsThe D.O.T. Archived
Past membersRobert Harvey
Adam Nutter
Stuart Coleman
Phil Jordan

The Music are an English alternative rock band, formed in Kippax, Leeds in 1999. Comprising Robert Harvey (vocals, guitar), Adam Nutter (lead guitar), Stuart Coleman (bass) and Phil Jordan (drums), the band came to prominence with the release of their debut album, The Music, in 2002. The band released two further studio albums, Welcome to the North (2004) and Strength in Numbers (2008), before parting ways in 2011.[1]


The Music all met at Brigshaw High School, except Phil Jordan who went to Garforth, and began playing in 1999 as Insense. In 2001 the song "Take the Long Road and Walk It" circulated as a demo before being released by Fierce Panda as a 1000-copies-only single, a rarity from its day of release. Around this time NME and Steve Lamacq were describing them as the best unsigned band in Britain. The band were quickly signed by Hut, who released their first EP You Might as Well Try to Fuck Me.

In 2002, following another EP (The People) they released their eponymous début album which reached No. 4 in the UK album charts. Their début single was re-issued as part of a two-disc set to promote the album, and reached No. 14 in the singles chart. Two further singles from the album, "Getaway" and "The Truth is No Words" reached No. 26 and No. 18 respectively. June 2003 saw them filling in for an absent Zwan on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival.[2]

In autumn 2004, they released their second album Welcome to the North and the accompanying single "Freedom Fighters", before touring with Incubus. August 2005 saw the band play at the dual-venue V Festival. In late 2006 they played a few UK gigs and subsequently posted on their site the video new song entitled, Fire, which would eventually be released on Strength in Numbers two years later. The site also featured a video for unreleased track Kill 100 by X-Press 2 featuring Robert Harvey.

The band signed a new deal with Polydor in 2007 and spent the rest of the year recording their third album with producers Flood and Paul Hartnoll.

During this time Harvey also revealed the reason for the band's extended absence. On The Music's official website, he told of his initial abuse of drugs in his mid-teens: "the addiction began to sit into its groove. At first it was a joy then later became a habit and a way of escaping". He later quit drugs, but around the time of the band's second album, had replaced the addiction with alcohol: "Drinking became the place to hide. I'd have a bottle of wine before 7 pm, then go out and make a fool of myself. The next day was always panic and more questions it took a close friend to say to me 'Robert, you are depressed'". He sought help at the end of 2005, and undertook a program that included medication.[3]

In June 2008, the band released their comeback single "Strength in Numbers", and the album Strength in Numbers the following week.

In January 2010, the band began demoing material for their fourth studio album. The album was due for release sometime 2011.[4] However, Harvey left the band in September 2010, and following a series of final farewell shows, The Music split up in August 2011.[5][6][7]

Harvey has since gone on to work with The Streets, collaborating on the album Computers and Blues. Mike Skinner of The Streets and Harvey also released a Christmas song in December 2010, called Scrooge And Marley – I Don't Want It To Be Me.[8]

On 31 March 2011, The Music announced a series of farewell gigs on their website. The band played three shows in Japan 25–27 July. They then played Brixton Academy London, England on 4 August, before bringing the curtain down on their career with two home town gigs at the O2 Academy in Leeds on 5 and 6 August.[9]

On 21 April 2011 the band released the newest and final song of their career on their official website. "Ghost Hands" was recorded for their now scrapped fourth studio album sessions. Talking about the single lead singer Robert Harvey said:

"We love the track and it just seemed a shame to leave it gathering dust forever. It's good to go out with something positive and new and we think it deserves to see the light of day. Hopefully the fans will agree – again we want to thank everyone who's been with us on this journey and look forward to celebrating an amazing ten years this summer."[citation needed]

Following the end of their final tour, the band, in conjunction with Concert Live, released a live CD/DVD package entitled The Last Dance: Live which captures the gigs from 4 and 6 August respectively.

Shortly after The Music disbanded, Harvey embarked on a new musical project dubbed The D.O.T. with former The Streets frontman Mike Skinner. The duo released an album, And That, on 22 October 2012.

On 4 September 2020, The Music announced that they are to reform and will be performing at Temple Newsam on 28 May 2021.[10]

Band members[edit]

  • Robert Harvey – vocals and guitar
  • Adam Nutter – guitar
  • Stuart Coleman – bass
  • Phil Jordan – drums


Studio and compilation albums[edit]

Year Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2002 The Music 4 25 36 39 16 20 128
2004 Welcome to the North
  • Released: 20 September 2004
  • Label: Virgin
8 23 78 68 10
2008 Strength in Numbers
  • Released: 16 June 2008
  • Label: Polydor
19 30 19
2011 Singles and EPs: 2001 - 2005
  • Released: 31 January 2011
  • Label: Virgin
"-" denotes releases that did not chart.

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US Mod
2001 "Take the Long Road and Walk It" 92
"You Might as Well Try to Fuck Me"
2002 "The People" 1 772 The Music
"Take the Long Road and Walk It" (reissue) 14
"Getaway" 26
2003 "The Truth Is No Words" 18 772
2004 "Welcome to the North" 3 Welcome to the North
"Freedom Fighters" 15 100
"Bleed From Within"
2005 "Breakin'" 20 63
2008 "Strength in Numbers" 38 Strength in Numbers
"The Spike" 114
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
  • 1 The People E.P. reached No. 35 on the UK Indie Chart.[24]
  • 2 "The Truth Is No Words" single was released in Australia a double A-side with The People E.P.[21]
  • 3 "Welcome to the North" reached No. 3 on the UK Download Chart.[24]



  1. ^ The Music Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. The Music (23 April 2011). Retrieved on 10 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Drowned In Sound Review 2003". Retrieved 9 November 2003.
  3. ^ "Robert Harvey talks about his depression – Gigwise". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  4. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "The Music begin demoing new album". Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Rob Harvey reveals why The Music are splitting up". NME. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  6. ^ "The Music show off their singles". 23 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  7. ^ "The Music Singles & EPs 2001–2005 Review". BBC. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  8. ^ "NEWS: The Streets & Rob Harvey Release Christmas Song". 13 December 2010. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  9. ^ The Music Announce Decision To Split, Farewell Tour The Music Announce Decision To Split, Farewell Tour | Live4ever
  10. ^ Seaman, Duncan (10 September 2020). "Leeds band The Music to play home city reunion show". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. ^ a b "UK album chart positions". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Australian album chart positions". Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  13. ^ "French album chart positions". Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Irish album chart positions". Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Italian album chart positions". Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Japanese album chart positions". Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  17. ^ Billboard, Allmusic
  18. ^ "GOLD ALBUM 他認定作品 2003年3月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. March 2003 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 522: 13. 10 May 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  19. ^ a b "British certificates: searchable database". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  20. ^ "The Music Gold" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  21. ^ a b "The People Australian position" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  22. ^ "Freedom Fighters Dutch position". Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  23. ^ "Breakin US position". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  24. ^ a b c d "UK chartlog". Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  25. ^ "Breakin Australian position" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2009.

External links[edit]