Following a run of successful gigs in London and the North West to promote their self-titled debut album in 2010, Saddleworth rock and roll trio The 99s (Johnny West, James Loughlin, Adam Quigley) decided to retire back to the hills and plan how to take their brand of catchy, sun-kissed melodies to the next level.
Dozens of songs had already been penned for the follow up album, but the new songs demanded a much larger sound, and the three instruments just weren’t filling the gaps. The boys landed on their feet when fellow Oldham troubadour and multi-instrumentalist Jay Moran became available to help create a fuller sound, and an extra voice to add to the already Byrds-esque harmonies.
The band’s growing fan base could be forgiven for thinking that 2011 started quietly for The 99s, but in a dark, cold cotton mill in Diggle, the boys had already begun the recording of their second album “Run Of The Mill”.
The boys’ talent for writing a catchy pop melody as seen on the debut album continued into the “Mill” sessions; however the solemn lap steel of Moran and perhaps recording at the foot of Marsden Moor led to some of the songs having a darker, more reflective mood.
After a string of well received summer gigs to road-test the new songs, The 99s bade farewell to Moran who left in the Autumn for India to find his inner light – and buy a sitar. A lucky break came for the band in October when they were asked to appear and perform two songs on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, which was broadcast to over 10 million in the UK alone.
Spurred on by their recent taste of the limelight, the boys headed back to the studio to put the finishing touches on the new album in time for the New Year. Christmas came early for the band when friend and local artist Chris Cyprus agreed to collaborate and paint the artwork for the album in his distinctive northern style.
2012 is all set to be an exciting year for The 99s. “Run Of The Mill” is due to be released in the Spring-Summer of 2012 on independent label Tri-Tone, with a run of gigs in the pipeline to support the album release.