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UK indie band Strangelove played their first set at Bath Moles Club on 9 October 1991, their line-up having evolved from an earlier incarnation as Words And Pictures. Comprising Patrick Duff (vocals), Alex Lee (b. 16 March 1970, Bristol, England; guitar/keyboards), Julian Pransky-Poole (guitar), Joe Allen (bass) and John Langley (drums), they played sporadic gigs thereafter. These early shows were distinguished by the 40 or more songs (with lyrics always written by Duff) on which the band drew, all of them possessing one word titles. Their first release was a four-track EP, Visionary, released on the independent label Sermon Records in 1992. A growing profile in the industry weeklies was cemented when 1993’s ‘Hysteria Unknown’ became one of the most popular singles of the year, although in interview the band remained cold and aloof. Duff’s drunken stage performances also ignited considerable interest. David Balfe headed off a bidding war to sign the band to his Food Records label later that year. In 1994, they released their debut album, Time For The Rest Of Your Life, which paired them with longstanding collaborator and producer Paul Corkett for the first time. Their supporters in the music industry now included Suede, with whom they toured through the early part of 1995, including a set at London’s Royal Albert Hall. A follow-up album, Love And Other Demons, was recorded in 1995, but before its release Duff was forced to attend a rehabilitation clinic to confront his alcohol problems. He and Strangelove made their comeback with a performance of frightening intensity at London’s Camden Monarch venue in April 1996. The album was then released, and while many of their earlier supporters had moved on, there was no doubting Duff’s power as a writer and lyricist. The band’s self-titled third album was Duff’s first without alcohol as a prop. A far more commercial set, the band’s continued failure in the singles chart cast an unfortunate shadow on an excellent album and Strangelove fell apart shortly afterwards. Duff went on to work on a number of different projects, while guitarist Lee joined Suede and then Lupine Howl. The pair were reunited on Duff’s 2005 solo debut, Luxury Problems.

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