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Sod the Brits, Here's the Best New Band in Britain

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Back when I was a sprightly 21 year old, I remember being sat in my bedroom at home during a visit back from college to see my parents. The radio was playing in the background and it was then that I heard the first chords plucked from the guitar of a bright young talent called Bernard Butler.

The song was The Drowners and the band was called Suede.
I rushed up from my bed and pressed record.
The connection was instant.

Those first musical notes had just opened up a little portal in my brain, a sparkly new pleasure zone which I had never thought existed. And when Brett Anderson sang and part-moaned his way through lyrics that crackled with urban sexuality, I was hooked.

This is what it's like when you fall in love with a band for the first time.

And whatever you might think of Suede doesn't matter - for you it might have been Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes - whoever - if you've experienced it, then you'll know just how great a feeling it is to be there at the start of something special.

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With Suede and I, it was love at first listen and to be there slap bang in the lead up to the release of that first fantastic single was to know that I was now on a journey that would be the most exciting time of my life.

Back in my bedroom, as soon as The Drowners - as yet unreleased - had finished, I wrote the word Suede on the back of my hand because I knew - right there and then - that they would be MY band.

That sense of ownership is important to all penniless students who, back then, owned nothing but tatty clothes, a Walkman and a lighter.

I wanted them for myself; I was in their gang... they were mine.

We all want to belong, and here, in Suede, I'd found my oasis. Let everyone else take their seats in the stadiums, as an indie kid I was happy on the fringe, far more excited with the prospect of the toilet tour to enjoy my special secret with a select group of friends.

Within days, I was in the eye of my own private, stormy little love affair, following Suede around London and the provinces, playing to crowds of less than 200. It was brilliant, dirty, decadent fun. I'd found myself in the middle of something incredible. I was happier than I'd ever been. It was so unique, so spectacularly intimate and personal. We, the fans, were the fifth member of that band.

We belonged.

Everyone at those gigs felt like a part of history, a history that was about to explode.
At the time, I was totally mesmerised by Brett Anderson. I found him intoxicating, and slightly sexier than the girl I was seeing at the time. My obsession left me dreaming of Brett and I would frequently wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I was actually still heterosexual. I was - there's no getting away from it, I simply love tits.

But whatever, they were just dreams; and besides, I digress.

The point I want to get to is the day of 25 April 1992 when it was with mixed feelings that I bought a copy of the music weekly Melody Maker, with Suede - MY Suede! - emblazoned on the cover with the headline "The Best New Band in Britain."

I felt like I'd just walked in on someone shagging my girlfriend.

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Fuck. I knew from that moment on that Suede would become public property, which of course, they duly did. Part of me was happy for them, delighted that something so violently beautiful could so sluttishly cross over into the mainstream. At the very least, it gave all the outsiders, myself included, a brief tingle of hope that we could make something of our lives.

But a far bigger part of me was desperately disappointed and frustrated: the days of being able to reach out from the midst of a tiny crowd to rip Brett's skimpy top from his glistening torso were officially and abruptly over.

So you can understand my reticence when - on the day The Brits serves up its usual yawnfest - I take it on myself to announce that there truly is a best new band in Britain.

And here they are.

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They are called The 10:04's.

They are a four piece guitar band from Edinburgh.

They play music that you can feel in your bones.

I'd love to keep it quiet, but a sense of journalistic duty compels me to spill the beans, for this is a band that has enough talent to fill a black hole and explode it into stars. With a tour on the way, the 10:04's are all set to have the A&R men swooning. Record labels with be splaying themselves prostrate before them and begging for a signature. And sue me if I'm wrong: It's that much of a no-brainer.

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Honestly, I thought that when, like me, you hit the age of 40, those days of falling head over heels with a band were over. But The 10:04's have just thrown the most inspiring and spectacular grenade on that theory. Lads, thank you so much.

I met them by chance in a pub one night when I was playing the Fringe Festival. A band, together as mates - not gigging - just out having fun and getting pissed together.

I bet Coldplay don't do that.

Utterly refreshingly in these One Directional days of cynical, manufactured pop, it was easy to see from the off that The 10:04's were an old school gang in every sense, and one with real presence and effortless cool.

If only I'd been a guitarist, I would've offered my services on the spot.

That night they gave me a CD of one of their songs - Smoke and Mirrors - and I listened to it when I got back to my room. Christ, I played that amazing song about 14 times, back-to-back. It was the best song I'd heard since... since you know when.

The 10:04's are tight, sexy, and achingly talented. With great hair. They even have names like rock stars - Danny Scrimshaw, Johnny Tracey, Steve Bolton, Paul Haddow - names you will doubtless soon be familiar with. But much more than that, they have a rasping energy, razor-sharp melodies, and a bruised beauty about them that'll have the music press in passionate raptures before you can say Pete Doherty.

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I know that writing this is a double-edged sword, but truly, I'm telling you this in the spirit of innocence so you can get in there now, before it's too late, and experience the pure bliss I felt all those years ago.

Fill your boots, you won't regret it - I truly believe The 10:04's may just give you the soundtrack to the best days of your life.

So yes, the best new band in Britain - the 10:04's - are on the cusp. Working with producer Tony Doogan (Super Furry Animals, Belle & Sebastian, Dirty Pretty Things) they have just delivered a self-released debut single which is out on the 9 March. It's called SOS.

It's a shot of absolute pop genius. Lasting just two minutes. OMG, two minutes!
Please, it's just too perfect.

It will move you. It's inspirational, essential and addictive. Those vital 120 seconds will make you want to live and taste life at its most raw and visceral. You'll find yourself celebrating but you won't quite know why. But it doesn't matter, because nothing matters when you've just fallen in love.

If you've got a broken heart and a beat up bank balance, this is a band that will give you hope. And I'll be right there with you pal, right at the front of the queue.

Because this band is amazing.

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Oh boy, I've just listened to SOS again for about the tenth time in an hour. It's bloody brilliant.

To finish off, I'll let you into a another secret: The 10:04's will be playing a Friday night gig on the 2 March at the Wheelbarrow in Camden, London, where, if you want to let go and live a little, they'll blow you away, pull you into their gang and thrust you into a world of strangely erotic dreams at night.

Just don't tell your girlfriend that last bit.

The 10:04's on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sos/id494778500?i=494778507
The 10:04's website: http://www.facebook.com/the1004s
Photos of The 10:04's courtesy of Julia Nicolle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jules2view

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