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Signed to Food Records in 1996 and making their debut with singles such as ‘Your Smile’, Octopus were first spotted by former Levitation drummer David Francolini. Through his auspices a demo tape was sent to Andy Ross at Food who signed the group before seeing them play live. Led by Marc Shearer, Octopus are a quartet which is expanded on stage to an eight-piece line-up including a horn section. Shearer’s lyrics also led to a concurrent contract with EMI Publishing, whose Mike Smith stated: ‘I have seldom come across a band with as much breadth to their songwriting.’ The band confirmed their potential with UK support slots to Sleeper early in 1996 before embarking on their own headlining tour later in the same year. Their debut album proved to be a fine pop record with an eclectic and experimental edge.

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