UK band Ultrasound rises from ashes of 90s implosion

Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:17pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

DURHAM, England (Reuters) - Rock and roll is full of cautionary tales - of excess, break-ups and missed opportunities.

British indie band Ultrasound, touted as the "next big thing" in the 1990s only to sink without trace following bitter bust-ups, reports of in-band infidelity and "creative differences", fits the bill neatly.

But in the case of the quintet led by the imposing Andrew "Tiny" Wood, the tale may yet have a happy ending.

Ultrasound has just released a second album "Play for Today" 13 years after its ambitious yet poorly received double-CD debut "Everything Picture" proved the beginning and the end of an act that record labels had fought each other to sign.

This time around there are no six-figure sums, no flights to the United States to be wined and dined, none of the hype generated by record company A&R departments whose influence has waned with the arrival of the internet.

Instead there is a 10-song, single-CD album which failed to trouble the charts in Britain on its release last month, a series of small gigs and decidedly modest hopes for the future.

"It would be nice if we could earn enough so that we could do this," Wood said during a recent interview in Durham, northern England, close to where he now lives.

"Tiny", who is anything but small, has been singing in other bands and to help make ends meet spends two days a week washing dishes in nearby Newcastle, while principal songwriter Richard Green is a delivery man working "ridiculous hours.   Continued...

British band Ultrasound are seen in this undated handout photograph released in London October 15, 2012. Ultrasound were touted as the "next big thing" in British pop in the late 1990s, only to sink without trace after the release of their debut album "Everything Picture". Now the quintet led by Andrew "Tiny" Wood is making a comeback with the release of their second album "Play for Today" some 13 years later. REUTERS/Andrew Leo/handout