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Three-piece indie band Hamfatter are yet to trouble the charts but very briefly became one of the most talked about bands in the U.K. after an appearance on a prime-time BBC TV show. After meeting at Cambridge University, vocalist Eoin O'Mahony, guitarist James Ingram, and drummer Mark Ellis formed Hamfatter and moved to London where they regularly performed on the local circuit. In 2003, they signed to Pink Hedgehog Records and released their debut album Fireworks a year later. Follow-up Girls in Graz failed to make much headway in the U.K. but the title track lead single became a surprise hit in Austria. Their third release, What Part of Hamfatter Do You Not Understand? was released in 2007 and lead single "Sziget -- We Get Wrecked" became their first chart entry, reaching number 54. Deciding they wanted more creative and financial control, the band turned down a record deal with a subsidiary of a major record label and instead entered the hit TV business/entertainment show Dragon's Den. After offers from four of the five dragons, they eventually agreed to a deal with Peter Jones who invested £75,000 of his own money in return for 30-percent of the band's earnings. This unorthodox method of investment and promotion led to criticism from the music press and despite the exposure, new single, "The Girl I Love" could only chart at number 71. The band is currently recording their fourth album, using Jones' money. ~ Jon O'Brien
2002 in Cambridge, England