Biography by Dorothy Postcard
Formed in 2005, London-based powerpop misfits The Gresham Flyers started life as a septet of friends brought together by the internet. This proves that despite what The Daily Mail says, it does do some good. Since then, the band have been through four different lineups into their current five-piece configuration in order to realise their manifesto; the firm belief that pop music should be FUN, ENTHUSIASTIC, THOUGHTFUL and GENUINE. With four songwriters and three singers, the sound is diverse, but always exciting.
To say that The Gresham Flyers have a wide breadth of influence is an understatement; they may not agree on what bands to call influences (there is not one band that they all agree on liking), but what they create reflects the best part of their record collections. Initially likened to Belle & Sebastian due to lead singer/ songwriter John Waring's focus on kitchen-sink minutiae and indiepop-based sound (a comparison the band now shun), a closer description would now be somewhere between Pulp's claustrophobic, synthetic sleaze and The Arcade Fire's anthemic histrionics, with a dash of Prolapse's dual vocal approach thrown in for good measure.
Following the release of the Shiftwork 7" in 2006 ("a cracking little single that is sure to announce the band to the wider world" – Rough Trade), and numerous appearances on compilation CDs, the band released debut album Sex With Strangers in July 2008. The album was picked up by Cherryade Records, and has drawn much acclaim as "well crafted indie pop with a bite" and "genuine pop bliss…melding some of the finest indie pop of the last 20 years into their own form".
Live, the band have picked up a devoted following thanks to their outstanding performances with bands such as Bearsuit, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Lucky Luke, Ladybug Transistor, Persil, MJ Hibbett, The Loves and Kristeen Young. The belief that the current configuration is their best yet is borne out by their improved live performances; Martin, Thom and James provide a fearsome backline, while Sharon and John offer dual vocals leading the fray with wit, charm and enthusiasm, adhering to the manifesto of providing pop music with a smile. While the instrument-changing sets of the previous six-piece lineup have settled down, there are still plenty of opportunities for members to swap roles, each being proficient multi-instrumentalists.
Currently working towards their second album, The Gresham Flyers are constantly working up new material, both in the studio and on stage. With plans for further tours and releases in the interim, their star can only shine brighter.