Mean Poppa Lean
Mean Poppa Lean; three little words which meant very little until this Brighton six-piece were born in 2006, but have now come signify cutting edge style, danceable beats and hummable melodies. MPL fuse RnB flavour, rock power and an electric live show to create the most exciting new band in the UK.
Mean Poppa Lean came to fruition in 2006 on the breezy shores of Brighton, when Anglo-American songwriting partners Christian Jennings Barnes (New York) and C-Dogg (Oxford, UK) conspired to create something bigger after the dissolution of their first band, Hedroom. With a shared love of Prince and the flamboyant 80s RnB scene, where image was just as important as a catchy hook, they sought to break free of the stagnant indie scene that loomed over the charts in the mid-Noughties.
Teaming up with old schoolfriends Danny Bass and John Grills, the foursome set to task creating an uncompromising, exciting live show built around infectious four-to-the-floor beats, sing-a-long choruses, exuberant crowd interaction and glamorous costumes that were nowhere to be found on the unsigned live scene at the time.
It took only a handful of gigs for MPL to become the talk of the town in Brighton, and the band began to spread out around the country, blowing minds wherever they went. They recorded their first EP 'Smash and Grab' for next to nothing at The Levellers' Metway Studios in Brighton, and the launch party saw them sell out Brighton's prestigious Concorde 2.
After a lot more touring and winning a local battle of the bands, they returned to the studio to record their first single 'Sheryl Crow', which was self-released to the delight of fans and critics in October 2009. The release was supported by a comprehensive UK tour with Brighton cohorts Floors And Walls, as well as the band signing with Insanity Agency for live bookings.
While recording 'Sheryl Crow' the band recruited two new members; Rob Flynn on trumpet and Tom Beck on trombone, also known as The Horny Brassholes. The addition of brass created a much-needed third dimension to their sound and the Brassholes have now become a permanent fixture of the line-up. 2009 was topped off with memorable appearances at Isle Of Wight festival and both V Festivals.
2010 was a busy year for the band, who not only continued to blitz the UK scene but also made three trips to mainland Europe, visitng Holland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and the Czech Republic. They even reached the Austrian Indie charts, remaining in the top 30 for 9 weeks and peaking at number 12. They have gained a huge fanbase at home and abroad, constantly being mentioned on blogs across Europe and beyond.
Currently, MPL are due to release their debut live EP, 'Live on Twelve Legs' featuring their sweaty selves along with the supporting cheers of their most loyal Brighton fans, on 2nd May 2011. Keep your eyes open for the live footage cropping up all over the place, and MPL shall be hard to miss in their tailor-made clothes by upcoming Brighton designer Brett Le Bratt.
A remix of their last single Personality (recorded with Ashley Slater - Freak Power, Dub Pistols) by Leon (Yaaks) is also due for release in April and previews are already hitting dance charts.
Mean Poppa Lean are an organic, self-made band who are intentionally outrageous and anti-fashion, however their hearts lie in creating great pop music that will transcend image and genre to set the industry alight.
'Smash and Grab EP' (2008)
'Sheryl Crow' Single, b-side 'Regretamine' (2009)
'Personality EP' (2010)
'Live on Twelve Legs' (2011)
Burn It Out
Break Your Hip
Hot Times (How Hot?)