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Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura Biography

Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Camera Obscura formed in 1996, when Tracyanne Campbell (vocals), John Henderson (percussion, vocals), Gavin Dunbar (ba**), and guitarist David started playing together. They went on to release a number of singles, one of them including the contribution of Richard Colburn, Belle & Sebastian's drummer. Three years after the band's first releases, Lee Thompson joined the band as a permanent drummer while David abandoned the crew, and was later replaced by Kenny McKeeve. Keyboardist Lindsay Boyd joined the band not long afterward, defining the band as a six-piece. In 2002, after being referred as one of the promising bands of the year 2001 on John Peel's playlist, Camera Obscura presented their first full-length, Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi, through the AndMoreSound Records catalog, with production help from Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. Trumpeter and percussionist Nigel Baile joined the band soon afterward, swelling their ranks to seven. The group's next effort, the luminescent Underachievers Please Try Harder, was released by Spanish label Elefant in 2003 and by American indie rock stalwart Merge in 2004. (Merge also reissued Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi in 2004.) For the band's third John Peel session in early 2004, they were asked to put music to the words of Scottish poet Robert Burns, a task the band enjoyed so much they ended up recording studio versions of two of the songs: "I Love My Jean" and "Red, Red Rose." After touring the world and reaping critical success, the band returned to Scotland and suffered two losses -- the d**h of Peel, one of their biggest supporters, and the defection of John Henderson. The band released the I Love My Jean single as a tribute to Peel in early 2005 and decamped as a six-piece to Sweden to record with noted producer Jari Haapalainen. The resulting album, Let's Get Out of This Country, was released in June of 2006 on Merge and Elefant. ~ Mario Mesquita Borges & Tim Sendra, All Music Guide

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