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Formed in late 1997 by multi-instrumentalists Adam Cresswell and Michael Smoughton, the lineup for the Reading quintet Saloon was completed in early 1998. Through advertisements, the pair found Alison Cotton, lead singer Amanda Gomez, and guitar player Matt Ashton, and the group was gigging within a month. Drawing on a range of influences of electronic and more guitar-based acts, Saloon developed a futuristic pop sound that incorporated Cotton's viola playing, Cresswell's interest in Moog synthesizers, and Ashton's feedback-tinged guitar style, along with samples and more exotic instrumentation, such as stylophone and glockenspiel. A home-recorded, four-track demo containing four songs garnered fanzine acclaim and, by the end of the year, "Lisa Millennium/Conquistador" was released on their own Belmondo label. Upon issuing "Futurismo" (a split 7" with Lazer Guided) in 1999, Saloon came to the attention of DJ John Peel, who championed the band and a series of subsequent single releases. Now making the rounds on the live circuit, the quintet had become darlings of the independent music scene in the U.K. and in 2001, Saloon commenced recording their debut album. (This Is) What We Call Progress was released in April 2002.