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The Windmills originally formed in Southend-on-Sea, England, in 1987 as a product of the short-lived C-86 movement, a loose collective of British indie pop bands influenced in equal measure by the jangly guitar pop of the Smiths, the three-chord naïveté of the Ramones, and the nostalgic sweetness of the girl group era. The original lineup in 1988 released its lone single, "The Day Dawned on Me," on the STS label before internal friction forced a split two years later; however, in 1998 three-quarters of the group — singer/guitarist Roy Thirlwall and siblings Tony (guitar) and Dan Pankhurst (bass) — reunited, adding new drummer Pete Spicer to perform a one-off Christmas gig. Contacted by Matinee Records boss Jimmy Tassos about reissuing vintage Windmills material, the group instead entered the studio to record its comeback single, "Three Sixty Degrees," in May 1999. Their first-ever full-length effort, Edge of August, followed in early 2000. The EP Drug Autumn appeared in October, but after wrapping up the 2001 EP When It Was Winter, Spicer left the group; new drummer Rob Clarke completed work on the Windmills' sophomore LP, Sunlight. The Walking Around the World EP followed in mid-2002.