Alpinestars are Glyn Thomas and Richard Woolgar. Glyn and Richard first met in 1995 when they were in separate bands that shared the same rehearsal space. Once they met they realised they had more in common with each other than they did with their own bands and quit their respective groups and briefly formed Maxim, their own “little electro group with full drums and bass”.
Luckily their friendship lasted longer than the band. Their break came in February 1999 when in Glyn’s words they were “sitting around on (their) backsides doing nothing and thinking about what (they) were gonna do”.
A local club promoter was looking for a live act to play before the DJs on his monthly club night, and a ‘friend of a friend’ who was aware of Maxim, suggested Glyn and Richard. The promoter of Manchester’s ‘Homoelectric’ club gave the unnamed pair a week to put together an hour-long live set. By the skin of their teeth (they finished mixing just 20 minutes before their performance) the duo pulled it off and the crowd’s response left them “pleasantly shocked” as to the night’s success. ‘Homoelectric’ offered Glyn and Richard a monthly residency to play their atmospheric blend of warm liquid beats. Three days after that, without a demo and still unnamed the pair were offered a deal with faith & hope.
The shell-shocked duo came up with the name ‘Alpinestars’ after an old mountain bike that Richard had. Alpinestars vinyl debut came in August 1999 with the release of the limited edition ‘Less Vegas’ EP, track 3 ‘Interlaken’ was the most requested track on Steve Lamacq’s Radio 1 Evening Session. Two more limited edition releases followed: ‘Silicon Chick’ EP, which came out at the end of 1999, and March 2000 saw the release of the third EP, ‘Kitzbuhel Weekend’ which earned an NME single of the week, this was their last vinyl only release.
The year 2000 saw Alpinestars picking up accolades such as NME’s Number 1 Dance Tip For 2000, a Steve Lamacq Single of The Week and Manchester Evening News Band Of The Year. In 2000 the band took their live show on the road with impressive supports for Death In Vegas, Doves and Saint Etiennne, as well as Creamfields, Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury. In July 2000 amidst much touring activity they released their first proper commercial single, ’77 Sunset Strip’. This critically acclaimed 45 scored an NME Single Of The Week and preceded their equally well-received debut album: ‘B.A.S.I.C’ (‘Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code’) released 18 September 2000. The album includes a quartet of re-worked tracks from their set of sold out EPs and met with much media acclaim, described as ‘brilliant’ (NME), ‘inspired electronica’ (Q) and ‘mesmerising’ (Select).
Alpinestars have also become a popular choice for remixes with clients ranging from Elastica and Placebo to Mint Royale, Mekon and Soulwax. Following the release of the album Alpinestars completed a string of live dates, including the Fatboy Slim’s club Boutique’s ‘Bands and Booze’ tour alongside acts such as Mekon and Midfield General, performing at the Bugged Out Weekender towards the end of November and finishing the year in style, onstage with Doves and Badly Drawn Boy at the ‘Made In Manchester’ new-years eve concert. Alpinestars left faith & hope for pastures new in 2001 and have since released their second album ‘White Noise’, on Riverman Records.