The Boats are Craig Tattersall (Remote Viewer/Archivist) and Andrew Hargreaves (Beppu/Tape Loop Orchestra). The pair met at an outdoor art installation that involved fire! When the fire was nothing more than a smouldering heap Andrew asked Craig about his t-shirt and the duo became instant friends. Not long afterwards the pair found themselves working for the same employer and using their dinner breaks to record songs about the sea, spelling and drinking wine. They were joined (when the boss was away) by Elaine Reynolds for vocal duties. These recordings were released on the Moteer label as “Songs by The Sea” (other tracks from this period were released on “The Boats are in the Bay” under the moniker “The Sea” on New York’s “Music Related”). People seemed to enjoy the album while some went fucking nuts for it (Andrew Johnson, Accrington).
While working home from a hard day Craig saw two men pushing a piano towards a skip. “I’m havin’ that” exclaimed Craig. One phone call later Andrew and Craig dressed in black rescued the piano under cover of darkness. Work began on a piano based album with haste. The results were unveiled as 2005’s “We Made It For You” (Moteer). Reviews for this album were all of the highest standard and the sales went gangbusters! Still to this date “We Made It For You” is The Boats biggest selling album.
The Boats didn’t want to cash in on the success of “We Made It For You” by making another piano record, besides the piano was now horribly out of tune with three broken strings and living on Craig’s patio. It was summer 2006 and The Boats stereo was playing pop music “We should make a pop album” suggested Andrew, “OK” replied Craig. The pair quickly amassed an albums worth of material (with a few extras) and were playing the rough mixes over dinner, suddenly there were vocals drifting in from the next room! Work colleague Chris Stewart (Need More Sources) was singing along unawares that The Boats were listening. He was hired and along with Elaine completed the vocals for what became “Tomorrow Time” (Moteer). The Boats were proud of this album but were shocked to find that most of the reviews talked about the song titles rather than the music! Their joke of beautiful music with harsh titles had backfired.
Aside from the one special concert in Manchester The Boats had been wary of playing live. This changed in 2006 as a small tour of Europe was announced in support of the forthcoming “Tomorrow Time”. Craig was unable to join Andrew for the tour as he had just laid his new patio and had a full summer of parties planned to show it off. Andrew not wanting to do the shows alone asked close Boats friend and mastering extraordinaire Miles Whittaker (Pendle Coven/MLZ) to join him. Miles said yes. The shows went well and all had a hedonistic time. Craig came to see The Boats play in Manchester and commented, “Miles doesn’t much look like me, but he sure sounds like me!” For the final date in Leeds Craig joined Andrew and Miles and brought along Chris, Elaine, Annabel Keach and Andrew Johnson (Remote Viewer), for the only ever 8 piece line up of The Boats! As a memorandum for those who came to the shows The Boats produced a limited edition tour CD-R that featured remixes and exclusive tracks from The Boats and Pendle Coven.
A big change happened to The Boats camp in 2006. Just prior the tour Craig got a new job, the dinner recording sessions were no more. Andrew was so upset by this that he could no longer call Craig by his real name, instead referring to him as Bernd Hamblin. Craig retaliated by using Kibbee Theodore when he addressed Andrew. They worked through the change by producing an album of instrumental electronica under their new German furniture building aliases. After the release of “The Scientific Contrast” (Moteer) Andrew was feeling happier with the change and the pair reverted to their birth names.
In late 2007 The Boats returned to the tapes they had been recording before the Theodore and Hamblin affair. The results were the most fragile music The Boats had produced (with vocals again by Chris). The decision was made to make these available in a limited edition. The Boats did not consider this a ‘proper’ album but a special album for fans. “Our Small Ideas” was released in January 2008 on The Boats own label “Our Small Ideas”. The aim of “Our Small Ideas” is to release small quantity CD-R’s of The Boats and related projects. The releases would act as mops for material that did not have a home on any of their proper albums. The “Our Small Ideas” album was so popular that the initial run of 100 CD-R’s was not enough to satisfy demand so a further 100 were produced.
Shortly after the release of “Our Small Ideas” Andrew and Craig returned to work on the next album proper. Some of the recordings dated as far back as December 2006 but the majority of the album was recorded at Andrew’s new home and Craig’s old home in early 2008. This time The Boats have returned to working as a duo (aside from a single vocal from Chris) and created an album that is an ode to the transistor radio. “Faulty Toned Radio” will be released on the flau label from Tokyo. The Boats are pleased to join the flau’s family. .
元Hood、The Remote Viewer/Archivistとして知られるCraig TattersallとBeppu/Tape Loop Orchestraとしても活動するAndrew Hargreavesにより結成。 2004年にThe Remote Viewerがオーナーを務める英国moteerより『Songs by The Sea』でデビュー。生楽器を多用した儚く繊細なアコースティック・サウンドに、女性ボーカリストElaine Reynoldsの艶やかな歌声を全編に配したこのアルバムのセッションでは多くの名曲が生まれ、当初２枚組としてリリースされるはずだったもう１枚のアルバムは、昨年The Sea名義でNYのMusic Relatedより発表された。
翌年。、彼らの友人のために作られたというコンセプト・アルバム『We Made It For You』を発表。全世界で大きな称賛と共に迎えられたこのピアノ・アルバムは、ロングセラーを記録し、彼らの最大のヒット作となる。2006年にはNeed More Sourcesとして活躍するChris StewartとElaineをボーカルに起用し、クリスマスアルバム『Tomorrow Time』をリリース。この年の最後を彩ったパーソナルな楽曲達は、スタンプを用いた愛らしいジャケットと共に話題となった。このアルバムのリリース後、modern loveの人気テクノ・アーティストPendle Covenとヨーロッパ・ツアーを敢行し、成功を収めている。
2008年にはflauより日本デビュー作となるアルバム『Faulty Toned Radio』をリリース、Peter Broderickがその年のベスト・アルバムに選出するなど各方面で高い評価を受ける。ミニマル・テクノへと接近した『Words Are Something』、レアトラック集『Sleepy Insect Music』を挟み、2012年12Kより『Ballads of the Research』を発表。伝統的なバラッドを現代の物語として提示したという本作にはDanny Norbury、Chris Stewart、Cuusheが参加。生楽器とエレクトロニクスを丁寧に折り重ねた美しい作品となった。
2008年からThe Boatsの個人レーベルとしてOur Small Ideasを立ち上げ、限定プレスでの作品を発表。レーベルのアイテムは初期３作品と共に全て廃盤となる程、ヨーロッパ各地に熱狂的なファンを抱えている。
昨年幻の初期作品『Our Small Ideas』の再発と共に２度目となるJapan Tourを開催。来年ユニットの記念すべき10周年を迎える。