Band History - 2000 to 2008

Quickly, the band was named TATE! after a conversation about sugar and went out as a three-piece performing rockier versions of the aforementioned acoustic numbers, to varying degrees of success (it is NOT cool to like TATE!, though a black market trade in TATE!-Wares would not be an unreasonable expectation given the  many favourable comments behind closed doors!)

In early 2000 TATE! acquired a very talented Jazz guitarist, Darren Wilkinson, who elevated then band into ‘serious muso’ territory, adding a new dimension to the quirky melodies and honest lyrics being delivered by the band which had already become very tight indeed, thanks to the angular arrangements introduced by Mark from his acoustic days.

A concert at the Cavern, Liverpool was very well received, but shortly after, Darren had to leave the Island, and therefore the band.

The search was then on for a suitable replacement. Various guitarists tried (and failed) to impress until Steve Courtie (an old musical colleague of Mark’s) turned up with a shiny shirt, shinier trousers and a plethora of guitars to become a fully fledged band member.

After a stint in the rehearsal room with Steve the band ventured out on the live circuit again for a number of dates which were well received and the next logical step was to finally document a selection of the songs for what would turn in to the first TATE! album Love and War.

Due to various reasons the album’s gestation was longer than the band would have liked and during that time the band and Steve parted ways.

While mixing the TATE! album Mark also repeatedly crossed paths with Skeeal guitarist Paul Rogers and Mark recognised a that there was a frustrated rock guitarist masquerading as a folk musician, who broke far too many strings and played far too loud for normal folk music so mentioned that his band needed a lead guitarist.

With the album now finished Mark, Phil, Martin and now Paul got back in the rehearsal room to thrash out the arrangements and bring the album tracks to life along with working on some older tracks that didn’t make it on to this album.

After only a handful of rehearsals the band hit the live circuit again with a short and very well received gig for the farewell night for their good friends, the legendary Earle and Kath, on their last night at the Trafalgar pub while reminding the gig going public of what TATE! are all about and once again airing the 20+ minute Goblin Opera. A much larger stage beckoned next with the annual Bashtonbury gig which allowed the band to fully rock out with the space and sound that these songs truly deserved.

Following radio and press features on the new album a few more gigs followed including showcasing Love and War in its entirety. With the TATE! ethos of ‘more is more’ in full swing they managed to fit a completely unnecessary 6K PA system in to the Cornerhouse pub for what was the unofficial album launch. Playing to new audiences in new venues around the Isle of Man proved to the band that their appeal is more wide ranging than previously realised.

Time off for new additions to the extended TATE! family meant another short hiatus but the band quickly reconvened and with Paul suitably broken in it was felt by all to take advantage of how tight an act the new line-up had become and that the next logical step was to start work on the follow-up to Love and War.

The band promise that this one won’t take three years...

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