The Neins Circa originally formed as the Neins in 2002, and quickly became popular in the small clubs in and around Vancouver, Canada. The quirky six-piece band recorded its first EP, The Neins, in 2003, which quickly sold out, mainly at the group's high-energy live concerts. The band's constantly shuffling lineup had started to revolve around guitarist/singer Cameron Dilworth, and, catching the eye of New Pornographers frontman Carl Newman, the Neins were invited to support his 2004 solo North American tour. Touring as a four-piece band, they played 25 shows across Canada and the United States, generating considerable buzz with their upbeat performances and offbeat songwriting. When they returned from touring, though, they were forced to alter their name, as another group had prior claims to the Neins, and growing tension in the band led to an exodus of most of the members. Undaunted, Dilworth continued to write new material, and eventually put together a new lineup, recording the CD Sunday Anthems for release on Carl Newman's Blue Curtain label.
They attracted the attention of the Canadian broadcaster CBC, and recorded a Radio 3 Studio Session (much like the legendary John Peel sessions of the BBC), and, invigorated by this attention, recorded a second album, Please Feel Free to Enter the Tipi. Released independently in Canada, the CD quickly became popular on CBC Radio 3, establishing the Neins Circa and their unusual, highly stylized alternative pop sound to a national audience. Vancouver-based Copperspine Records quickly signed the band, and re-released and renamed the album in May 2007 as Sleeves and Wigs. By this time the lineup was Cameron Dilworth, vocals/guitar; Sean Gilhooly, drums/vocals; Erin Jane, keyboards/vocals; and Elaine Fung, bass/vocals. The group solidified its fan base with a series of local shows in Vancouver, before Dilworth announced his plans to relocate the Neins Circa to the U.K. for a year, beginning in the fall of 2007. ~ Laurie Mercer