The Veils

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The Veils
The Veils in Dunedin, New Zealand, 2009
Background information
Origin London, England
Auckland, New Zealand
Genres Indie, alternative rock
Years active 2001–present
Labels Rough Trade
Pitch Beast Records
Members Finn Andrews
Sophia Burn
Dan Raishbrook
Raife Burchell
Uberto Rapisardi
Past members Henning Dietz
Liam Gerrard
Oli Drake
Ben Woollacott
Adam Kinsella

The Veils are a London-based indie/alternative band fronted by lead singer and songwriter Finn Andrews. They are known for their chaotic and highly cathartic live performances and Finn's often scarily possessed stage presence. Head of Rough Trade Records Geoff Travis has referred to Finn as "a young but maturing real artist in the vein of Nick Cave and David Bowie".[1]


Early years, The Runaway Found (2001–2004)[edit]

Finn Andrews was born in London but spent his teenage years at high school in Auckland, New Zealand. Largely disinterested in school, Finn was also playing in many bands (one of which met and played regularly in a folk club on Mt Victoria in Devonport, Auckland) and writing the songs that would later comprise The Veils debut album The Runaway Found. When he was 16, a set of demos he sent to record companies created a stir and led to invitations for him to return to London and make a record.

The Veils were signed almost immediately to Blanco y Negro, an indie/major hybrid imprint led by Rough Trade's boss Geoff Travis. On 19 August 2002 the band released a promo only single "Death & Co.", while a proper commercial single release came three months later, on 18 November, for "More Heat Than Light" followed by "The Leavers Dance" (24 February 2003), which was distributed exclusively at gigs.. By then increasing contractual disparities and artistic differences between the head of Warner and Geoff Travis delayed plans for a debut album. The Blanco Y Negro label was eventually disbanded and the dispute turned into a court battle with The Veils eventually regaining ownership of their master recordings from Warner Music. By mid-2003 Geoff Travis had signed them to Rough Trade Records.

The Veils recorded four more songs with producer Bernard Butler (ex-Suede guitarist), and the band finally released its first Rough Trade single, "Guiding Light" on 28 July 2003. Single releases of "Lavinia" (24 November 2003) and "The Wild Son" (26 January 2004) led to The Runaway Found finally hitting the shelves on 16 February 2004. Though rapturously received by the critics, by the time of its release Andrews felt unhappy with the direction the band had taken and, allegedly following altercations between him and other members, The Veils first incarnation split mid-2004, just 2 months after their debut album's release.[2]

New line-up and Nux Vomica (2005–2006)[edit]

Andrews left the UK early 2005 and embarked on a solo tour of America and Japan, eventually returning home to New Zealand where he found a new direction for the band. He spent the summer there rehearsing with high-school friends Liam Gerrard (keyboards) and Sophia Burn (bass) in Liam's bedroom, soon amassing an album's worth of material. When the trio returned to London they were joined by Dan Raishbrook (guitar) and Henning Dietz (drums), who completed the new line-up. They began recording sessions with producer Nick Launay in Los Angeles in early 2006. The resulting album 'Nux Vomica' had a darker, far heavier and more complex sound, augmented by string arrangements by ex Lounge Lizard Jane Scarpantoni, but also a newly found, highly animalistic energy. Lead singer Finn Andrews shows "rougher" and more experimental vocals on many of the songs such as 'Not Yet' and 'Jesus for the Jugular'. Two singles were released from the album: "Advice for Young Mothers to Be" (4 September 2006) and "One Night on Earth" (15 April 2007). Nux Vomica featured on 16 English and American critics' best of the year lists in 2006.[3]

Sun Gangs (2007–2009)[edit]

In the 16 months following the release of Nux Vomica The Veils played over 250 shows across 15 countries and during the U.S. leg of the tour it was announced that keyboardist Liam Gerrard would leave the band to return home to New Zealand due to personal reasons.[4] The Veils carried on as a four piece and, whilst living out of a classic car garage in Oklahoma City, started recording new demos at The Flaming Lips studio between playing shows on the east and west coasts of the America. By mid-2008 they were back to London to begin work on their third album with producer Graham Sutton. The recording sessions at West Point Studios lasted only three weeks and at the end of the summer the album was done and ready to be mixed. In March 2009 they began touring the new songs in Europe and America with new drummer Raife Burchell, after Henning Dietz' defection. Sun Gangs was released on 6 April 2009 and was featured in many websites top albums of 2009.[5]

Troubles of the Brain EP (2010-2011)[edit]

The band spent the summer of 2010 working on new material. On 6 December it was announced that a new 7 song EP entitled Troubles of the Brain was set to be released on 24 January, and that the band had left Rough Trade after almost 9 years and started their own label, Pitch Beast Records. The EP is produced by Finn Andrews and Bernard Butler and was recorded at Finn's home studio in London. In March 2011 The Veils headlined a benefit concert for the NZ Red Cross in London, playing a selection of songs from the EP.

Time Stays, We Go (2013)[edit]

The Veils 4th album was recorded in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and was released on April 2013. In January the band recorded a 5 song live session at Abbey Road Studios which was also turned into a short film and released as exclusive content with the new record.

Following their album's release The Veils embarked on a 150 date world tour with shows selling out all across North America, Europe and New Zealand.

Once the tour finished Finn Andrews revealed in an interview for NME that the band had moved into their own studio in east London and had already begun work on a new record due for release in 2016. Finn also revealed he had been commissioned to write an orchestral piece to commemorate the antipodean dead of World War One to be performed in Belgium in spring 2016.

Notable contributions and appearances[edit]

The Veils have been praised by film directors Paolo Sorrentino & Tim Burton who have both used songs by The Veils on their soundtracks[6]The Veils have also recently collaborated on a track with hip-hop producer El-P/Run The Jewels.

  • Paolo Sorrentino used The Veils song Nux Vomica in its entirety in his 2008 Italian political thriller Il Divo.
  • Jesus For the Jugular was used for the trailer of the HBO series Luck in the United States in 2011.
  • Tim Burton used Another Night on Earth on the soundtrack for Frankenweenie.
  • Lee Tamahori used Jesus For the Jugular in his film The Devil's Double in 2008.
  • The Valleys of New Orleans was used repeatedly by HBO during their Hurricane Katrina fund raising campaign in 2005. The song begins with a lyric about a large hurricane tearing through New Orleans but was in fact highly prescient having been written 3 years prior to Katrina.
  • Vicious Traditions was used during the end sequence of the film Mr Brooks in 2007.
  • Lavinia was used as the sound track of the final scene in the last episode of Season 2 of One Tree Hill.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Released Label Format
The Runaway Found 16 February 2004 Rough Trade CD, LP
Nux Vomica 18 September 2006 Rough Trade CD, LP
Sun Gangs 6 April 2009 Rough Trade CD, LP
Time Stays, We Go 29 April 2013 Pitch Beast CD, LP, Download


Title Released Label Format
"Troubles of the Brain EP" 24 January 2011 Pitch Beast CD, Download
"Live at Abbey Road" 29 April 2013 CD, Download


Title Released Label Format Album
"Death & Co." 19 August 2002 Blanco Y Negro CD single
"More Heat Than Light" 18 November 2002 Blanco y Negro CD single The Runaway Found
"The Leavers Dance" 24 February 2003 Blanco y Negro CD single The Runaway Found
"Guiding Light" 28 July 2003 Rough Trade CD single, 7" vinyl The Runaway Found
"Lavinia" 24 November 2003 Rough Trade CD single, 7" vinyl The Runaway Found
"The Wild Son" 26 January 2004 Rough Trade CD single, 7" vinyl The Runaway Found
"The Tide That Left and Never Came Back" 17 May 2004 Rough Trade CD single, 7" vinyl The Runaway Found
"Advice for Young Mothers to Be" 4 September 2006 Rough Trade 7" vinyl, Download Nux Vomica
"One Night on Earth" 15 April 2007 Rough Trade Download Nux Vomica
"The Letter" 13 April 2009 Rough Trade Download Sun Gangs
"Through the Deep, Dark Wood" 13 February 2013 Rough Trade Download Time Stays, We Go

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director
"Lavinia" 2003 Gavin Boyter
"The Tide That Left and Never Came Back" 2004 Gina Birch
"The Wild Son" 2004 Tim Groenendaal
"Advice for Young Mothers to Be" 2006 Suzanne Schurgers for Minivegas
"Calliope!" 2007 The Brownlee Brothers
"The Letter" 2009 Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
"Begin Again" 2009 Sean Gratton
"The Stars Came Out Once The Lights Went Out" 2011 Alexander Gandar


  1. ^ Issue 72 Pavement Magazine, 2006
  2. ^ "Finn Andrews Interview, Sixeyes Music". Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  3. ^ "Junk Media, The Veils Article". Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  4. ^ "The Veils Sun Gangs Review, Drowned In Sound". Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  5. ^ "Best Albums of 2009". Retrieved 2009-12-12. [dead link]
  6. ^ "The Veils, Paolo Sorrentino". Retrieved 2009-05-13. 

External links[edit]