They say an Englishman's home is his castle, and so it is with Dartford's Rosemary: three self-proclaimed "Suburban Kings" making assured, inspired English pop music with many antecedents (try: The Kinks, The Libertines, Thee Headcoats) but precious few contemporaries.
Born in the humdrum commuter-belt town of Dartford, too near to London to boast its own vibrant gig underground,
but too far outside to hop on a night bus too far beyond midnight, Rosemary - bassist/vocalist Tim Hill,
guitar/vocalist Martin Brett and drummer Jon Chamberlain - spent the first year of their life in isolation,
playing the local pub to a wall of disinterested eyes. Dartford was not a great place to be in a band, but it
was this difficult adolescence that spawned self-released, self-mythologizing debut single 'Suburban Kings'.
"It was about playing to people that didn't care what you were playing or singing about," chatters Martin, "And
then waking up after having a little too much to drink still feeling annoyed about it. It's about ambition, about
wanting to play bigger and better places, about wanting to escape your immediate surroundings."
wits about them. A gig way out east in Medway in North Kent saw the band win friends amongst the thriving local mod scene, and before
long, they were holed up in Ranscombe Studios in Rochester, recording monophonic and one-take with Jim Riley - the producer behind
Billy Childish's ragged, stiff-lipped garage rockers The Buff Medways. XFM's John Kennedy picked up on an early demo of 'Suburban
Kings', so that became the first limited 7" single, on the band's own MA2 imprint, and sold out in a week. An XFM playlist and a
handful of sessions made Rosemary something of a name to drop on the London circuit, but with the band now running their own Suburban
Kings club night - a monthly bands-and-DJs residency at the Tap'N'Tin, the cult Kent indie citadel that staged the Libertines reunion
after Pete Doherty's release from prison in 2003 - London would very much have to wait its turn.
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