When Faith & Hope signed Grand Transmitter the line-up was Jake Fletcher (vocals, guitar, piano). James Pickering, or “Pix” (Guitar, keyboards) John Hilton (Bass) Gavin Ahern (Drums) Jake Fletcher spent 2002 writing and performing music in Manchester.
He met a guy called Tom in a bar where they both had resident DJ slots and played him some songs he had been working on. But he needed a band to play them. Meanwhile in London… James Pickering, John Hilton and Gavin Ahern never gave up hope after the collapse of their first band. They wandered the lonely streets of London searching venues and clubs, looking for a singer. And then they got a call from their friend Tom about a guy he’d met in a bar in Manchester.
With Jake’s songs aligned to a dynamic and intense band, Grand Transmitter was born in January 2003, and they set about honing their sound: atmospheric, cinematic songs, with Jake’s soaring vocals and dark edged lyrics adding an extra dimension. After a month Grand Transmitter started playing gigs in London and Manchester, and in Winter 2003 they booked time at Westside Studios to record their debut EP with producer Andy Green.
The band further expanded their sound with the addition of string parts arranged by Picks and performed by the Galaxy Quartet. John designed the CD sleeve for the “Under The Wheel” EP, which was released on Faith & Hope Records in March 2004. Critical acclaim soon followed: one reviewer said, “there never seems to be a moment when the sublime is far away from Grand Transmitter”, while Logo Magazine called the EP “thirteen minutes of grand genius”. Fans at radio included Mark & Lard and Zane Lowe, and the band were invited to play a live acoustic session for 6 Music.
Through the spring and Summer the band toured with Spiritualized, The Webb Brothers and Keane, and played the new tent at Glastonbury, along with some headline shows of their own. More recently they have been working with elusive maverick producer Mike Pelanconi on new recordings, once again drafting in the Galaxy Quartet along with some other musical friends… the results of this collaboration should be with you in the next couple of months.
On the 19/02/2005 we reported “Grand Transmitter at Mount Everest” after it had been confirmed that Grand Transmitter were taking part in what is billed as “the world’s highest gig” for charity at Mount Everest Base Camp in May 2005!