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Unusually in the Australian rock scene of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, which was still in thrall to American alt.rock and its (inevitably co-opted and commodified) anti-commercial rebelliousness, george managed to find crossover success. They were as popular with young audiences as they were with their parents, capturing fans among divergent age groups with a mixture of adult contemporary and alternative styles. The core of george formed around classically trained vocalist/keyboardist Katie Noonan and her brother, vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tyrone Noonan. Nick Stewart was added on guitar, both acoustic and electric, Geoff Green on drums and percussion and Geoff Hooton on bass. The band formed solely to enter a talent competition in 1996, but experienced a group chemistry that kept them together. They released three EPs: the self-titled george in 1998; You Can Take What's Mine in 1999; and Bastard-son Holiday in 2000. At that point Hooton left the band, replaced on bass by Paulie Bromley, formerly of the band Pangaea. Those early years of steady work paid off when, in 2001, they came to the attention of Mushroom Records, who signed them and released their 2002 album Polyserena. To everyone's surprise, Polyserena debuted at number one in the charts, achieving platinum status within weeks and eventually going double platinum. At the beginning of 2003, george performed Jon Lord's Concerto for Group and Orchestra with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, making them the second rock band--after Deep Purple--to ever perform the piece. The rest of that year was spent recording their second album, Unity, in Byron Bay. Unity was released in 2004 and, although popular, it failed to achieve the runaway success of their debut. In 2006 george went on hiatus, partly motivated by Katie Noonan's desire to start a family and pursue a solo career. ~ Jody Macgregor

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