Born and formed in south east London, Corduroy appeared on the periphery of the mod and beat scene in early1992.
Having previously been dropped by Sire Records, proto-Brit-Pop-stealers Boys Wonder, lead by the 'graphically eye browed' Addison twins, recruited bassist Richard Searle, the Doctor & the Medics and occasional Boys Wonder player, for a one off new years eve show at Up The Creek in Deptford 91.
The style, heavily borrow from guitarist Simon Nelson Smith's previous band, was straight Hammond instrumental funk. The gig was a success and the four- piece started to demo material and a budget video of the track 'e-type' was concocted (see below).
They played various London clubs around this period, often just to ‘get in on the guest-list’. Trendy-set regulars at Smashing and Love Ranch, plus choice mod venues awarded the ‘fabric- four’ a keen and early fan base.
After a couple of uneventful meetings with major record labels, a brief interview with Edward Piller at Denmark Street's Acid Jazz Records secured a recording session the following week. The debut album Dad Man Cat was the result, released in the spring of 1992, which the band toured heavily to promote, often with label mates Mother Earth.
A second album High Havoc was quickly recorded and released autumn 1992. A concept album, ‘the sound-track to a mythical movie’, again featuring mostly fast, groovy instrumentals. Two singles ‘Something in My Eye’ and ‘The Frighteners’ taken from the album, were two of the few vocal exceptions. The band continued to tour constantly including international territories such as Japan, where they were very popular.
An in-between single was recorded in late 93. ‘Motorhead’ a cover version of metal band Motorhead’s signature tune, not on High Havoc, doubled with ‘London England’ on the flip-side, which was. The single pre-empted the recording and release of the third album Out Of Here, the last to be released by Acid Jazz in 94. The song ‘Mini’ was lifted as the single. ‘Motorhead’ also made the album track list.
Gigging throughout Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and the UK, plus a coveted support slot with Camden- lovies Blur at Alexandra Palace alongside Pulp and Supergrass, this was arguably Corduroy’s most popular moment.
Ambition and altercation saw a split with Acid Jazz resulting in Corduroy signing to a subsidiary of the newly formed V2 records, Big Cat. The fourth album The New You, recorded in 1995 was released in 96. A more vocal, song based album this time, the psychedelically tinged track ‘The Joker Is Wild’ chosen as single.
The fifth and final studio album recorded throughout 98 Clik, was also released by Big Cat in 99. This was a more experimental sound, drum and bass producer Rob Playford at the controls. Two singles were taken from this album, Moshi Moshi and the ‘un-listenable’ disco track Thing For Your Love.
Tensions between band members plus appalling sales (not only were Corduroy dropped from Big Cat but Big Cat was dropped from V2) helped towards the band splitting in late 1999, quickly followed by numerous ‘best of’ albums, plus a Japanese live CD (featured in a 2013 Rarities Box Set on Cherry Red Records), and a lost Bluenote recording London England Live.
The Addisons now record for Unique in Germany.Nelson-Smith is working on new material.