Following on from the recent, well-received vinyl re-release of his 2009 debut solo album ‘Bright Light Ballads’, Howie Payne has announced a headline tour – backed by a full band – plus a brand new box set from the still-much-loved band that brought him to the attention of the world: The Stands.
‘The Stands Recordings 2003 – 2005’ set is a box set collection of 3 vinyl LPs, the first two featuring alternate, rare, remixed and unreleased versions of tracks spanning 2003 – 2005, while the third features a whole host of Howie Payne’s unreleased demos.
Formed in Liverpool in 2002, The Stands were essentially a solo project for Howie Payne, who’d recently left his role as lead guitarist in Edgar Jones’s Big Kids. The Stands’ rise was fast; their original four-track demo found its way to Noel Gallagher, who was impressed enough to seek out Howie’s number.
“The next day, there’s this message for me,” Howie remembers. “Like, ‘Hello, it’s Noel Gallagher here: I’ve heard your stuff, it’s great. I want you to come and play with us. Anyway, give us a call back. I hope I haven’t freaked you out.”
The Stands became regulars at Liverpool’s Bandwagon night throughout summer 2002, were featured in The Guardian, GQ and appeared on ITV’s This Is Music, toured with The Coral in September & supported Oasis at the Royal Court in their hometown that December, then again at the NIA in Birmingham the same week. That, plus a few mentions by Noel in the press, supercharged interest in the band, to the point where The Stands suddenly had major labels coming up to “take us out to Pizza Express to buy us dough balls” and trying to sign them. At this point, though, all Howie was interested in was getting out and playing shows – The Stands played over 250 gigs in 2003 alone.
Eventually signing to Echo Records, The Stands released their acclaimed debut album ‘All Years Leaving’ in 2004, which contained three Top 40 singles ‘Here She Comes Again’, ‘When This River Rolls Over You’ and ‘I Need You’.
The second album, the brilliant ‘Horse Fabulous’, was cut soon after in LA. A change of lineup happened, resulting in an even more powerful live show. The gigs were getting bigger and better, the reviews were great. The Stands were on their way to their highest slot on a festival set, on top of the world, when they got a call saying their label was being shut down, the week before ‘Horse…’ was due to be shipped into shops.
Listen to a remix of rare early Stands track ‘She Speaks Of These Things’
Pre-order The Stands Recordings 2003 – 2005 from PledgeMusic
Howie Payne’s upcoming tour with new backing band The Band Of The Sun will feature songs by The Stands, songs from ‘Bright Light Ballads’, plus brand new songs from his forthcoming second solo album, due later this year. This is a chance for those who were there originally to celebrate this amazing music, and for those too young to have experienced The Stands the first time around to get a glimpse of what they missed – and what’s to come in the future from Howie Payne.
Tickets available from Howie Payne