Mitch & Murray
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Mitch & Murray

Band Alternative Folk

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Dave's Tweaks (on "Extended Play" split single, Regular Beat Records)
Health and Wellness (on "Field Recordings" split single, Regular Beat Records)
"The Bleak End Starts Here" (Regular Beat Records)
"A Sad Day For British Wrestling" (released later in 2010, Regular Beat Records).

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Bio

Mitch & Murray started as a few 4 track recordings by Benjamin in an attempt to do something other than the band he was already in. These recordings ended up online and then on record when Regular Beat Recording Co. liked them. Since then Benjamin has asked friends to play in the band alongside him, ended up back on his own and is looking for more musicians to work with.

Early on, the major influences on the sound and attitude of M&M were Sparklehorse, Arab Strap, Low and Red House Painters: slow and quiet was the mantra. Scratchy recordings and glitches were shrugged off as "adding character" to recordings. Once a full line-up was established, My Bloody Valentine and Yo La Tengo were more audible in the arrangements. The delicate minimalist songwriting was loaded up with noise guitars and swelling ambient sounds.

The first recordings were started in a bedroom in Benjamin's parents house in Rowley Regis in the Black Country. Two self-recorded, self-produced and hand burned demo EPs entitled "Rimbaud III" and "Straight Outta Tipton" impressed the Liverpool based Regular Beat records and got him a place on two split 7" singles: Extended Play and Field Recordings. The two songs continued the Mitch & Murray theme. Lyrically they wandered around the slightly glum world of Black Country life, alcohol, wondering what on earth is going on and why we should even bother. (A friend once described Benjamin as "somewhere between Jean Paul Sartre and Tony Hancock". It's not too inaccurate). A few decent reviews and a thumbs up from John Peel was enough to get things started.

The first full Mitch & Murray album "The Bleak End Starts Here" explored the same sorts of themes whilst developing a full band sound. Joined by three friends, Benjamin turned his acoustic meanderings into "proper songs". The album was recorded in a bedroom again and was dogged with calamity: a bass guitar that wouldn't stop buzzing unless you put one finger on the strings and one on the bassist, tracks that went missing, and a drummer whose eyeball almost exploded (true story). The result was a lo-fi, post-rock and alt-country tinged surprise.

After a tour of England with labelmates Alaska In Winter, M&M disbanded as a group due to illness, creative differences and babies. However, guitarist Pete helped Benjamin record the follow up mini-album "A Sad Day For British Wrestling" which tries to go back to the solo sound of the first ever demo, but layers it with sound design and some of the noise that was fondly used on "Bleak End...." The album was recorded in a bathroom in Halesowen and is due out in 2010. During this period, Benjamin exploited his love of The Flamingos and David Lynch soundtracks by trying to combine lo-fi with massive vocal arrangements in a doo-wap style in order to replace Peter's swooping reverby guitar parts.

When on stage, things can get confusing. The sparse sound of the music and the crushing honesty of the lyrics can make things seem a little grim, yet this is shattered by the bizarre banter between songs. Benjamin knows that when you record is recorded in a bathroom, you have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it. When you sing about how awkward you are to a room full of people (by choice) then you're working yourself into a paradox. Perhaps this is the key joy about M&M: there's something to celebrate in the ridiculousness of honesty.

The future holds a lot (we hope) for M&M. A tour is on the cards to promote the next album, and currently Benjamin is hoping to put a new lineup together to allow him to explore even more new sounds- perhaps making a super sized band to create his new brand of music "doom-wap".