Ooberman are a band
consisting of: Danny Popplewell (singing
, occasional piano
); Sophia Churney (singing, keyboards
); Andy Flett (guitar
); Steve Flett (bass guitar
) and Paul Walsham (drums
The main songwriting partnership of Danny and Alan met at school in 1988; they formed a band with Alan's younger brother Steve. Further education saw them drift apart, but they got together again in 1997, recruiting the angel-voiced Sophia and the brickably cheerful Alan Kelly, whose departure in February 2001 saw Paul Walsham taking the drum stool.
First single Sugar Bum was a limited release on Graham Coxon's label Transcopic. This was followed by the superb Shorley Wall EP - 7 tracks, with a bonus radio interview tagged on the end, it won a lot of followers, some crucial radio play and Radio 1 acclaim, and Single Of The Year from The Times and James Dean Bradfield.
Quickly snapped up by Independiente, their debut album The Magic Treehouse (late 1999) wasn't the success it might have been; the band didn't get on well with the label and had some unwelcome decisions (such as the single release of Million Suns) forced on them. Stephen Street's usually tight production is also a little suspect: the songs are rather too glossy and they often try to put too many ideas in a song -- the result is an unwelcome clutter. Nevertheless, Roll Me In Cotton and Shorely Wall remain beautiful high points, and the enthusiastic stomping Blossom's Falling and Sugar Bum are engaging and addictive. Live favourite Bees gets a poor showing, though, and the whimsical ballad Physics Disco manages to demonstrate much that is weak with the band.
Ooberman split with Independiente in April 2000, following rather eventful touring and some serious slagging off by the NME. Withdrawing from the limelight, they began work on their second album, now apparently complete. It's called Hey, Petrunko, for release in late May 2002 on their own label, Rotodisc.
The limited edition (500 copies) 7"-only single Running Girl appeared in October 2001, and the 10-track mini-album Running Girl followed in December, both on Rotodisc.
Things to look forward to:
The band's self-run website is at www.ooberman.com, from where much of the more recent information in this node comes.
Sugar Bum -- Transcopic, May 1998.
Shorely Wall EP -- Tugboat, November 1998
Blossom's Falling -- Independiente, April 1999
Million Suns -- Independiente, July 1999
Tears From A Willow -- Independiente, October 1999
Shorely Wall -- Independiente, March 2000
Dolphin Blue -- Rough Trade, December 2000
Running Girl -- Rotodisc, October 2001
The Magic Treehouse -- Independiente, October 1999.
Running Girl mini album -- Rotodisc, December 2001.