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Hot Club de Paris

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A British three-piece playing sharp, witty pop tunes that blend hook-filled melodies with a lean instrumental attack and precise harmonies, Hot Club de Paris were formed in the summer of 2003 when Paul Rafferty and Matthew Smith were both working part-time at a racetrack in Liverpool, tending the bar. Rafferty and Smith were both musicians with bands of their own, but while chatting during downtime they discovered they had similar tastes and decided to put together a new group as a side project. With Matthew on guitar, Paul on bass, and Alasdair Smith (Matthew's younger brother) sitting in on drums, Hot Club de Paris were born, and after several months of woodshedding, they made their live debut in their hometown of Liverpool in April 2004. Sounding like a successful marriage between XTC and the Minutemen, Hot Club de Paris began making the rounds of the U.K.'s rock clubs, and attracted the attention of the independent label Moshi Moshi Records, which released the trio's first single, "Sometimes It's Better" b/w "Your Face Looks All Wrong," in June 2006. Hot Club de Paris' second single, "Everyeveryeverything" b/w "Hello Comrade (I Quit My Job)," was named Single of the Week by New Musical Express upon its release in October 2006, and a full-length album, Drop It 'Til It Pops, followed in January 2007. The album spawned another pair of successful singles, "Shipwreck" b/w "Symmetry," and later "Clockwork Toy," which was backed by a playful cover of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al." In the spring of 2007, Hot Club de Paris came to America to play a short tour -- two shows in New York and four in Austin, TX, to coincide with the South by Southwest Music Conference. ~ Mark Deming

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