Menswear (sometimes written "Menswe@r") were a Britpop band formed in October 1994 from Camden in London. They signed their record deal after their fifth gig and were paid £500,000 as a publishing deal by Island when they had only written seven songs.
They were featured in a Select article about the mod revival when the project was still purely in the imaginations of Chris Gentry and Johnny Dean. They later appeared on the cover of Melody Maker before they had released any material. Their dress sense was Mod (tight fitting suits etc.) whilst their music was influenced by both Blur's second album Modern Life Is Rubbish and Elastica.
They generated so much publicity that they appeared on Top of the Pops a week before their first single had even been released. This made them the first band to appear on the show without releasing a record. Their first single "I'll Manage Somehow" was a limited release and a minor hit. Their second single "Daydreamer" peaked at number 14 in the UK Singles Chart, and saw the band accused of plagiarizing Wire, with Allmusic describing the track as sounding "more like Wire than Elastica, only funnier, even if it may be unintentional".
On the one hand, the band was criticised by the British music press for allegedly having success based on good-looks and charm rather than musical talent. On the other, this helped Menswear appeal to readers of both the NME and Smash Hits.
The band released their debut album Nuisance in 1995, described by Allmusic as "the perfect product from a band that is better known for being seen than being heard". Menswear played at the Glastonbury Festival the same year and released another single "Stardust" at the end of 1995. It reached the top twenty, with the follow-up single "Sleeping In" giving the band another top-thirty hit. A fifth single, "Being Brave" gave them their first and only top ten hit.
As the popularity of Britpop faded, so did that of Menswear. In 1997 they parted company with London Records after delivering their country-rock tinged second album Hay Tiempo!. The record was released in Japan in 1998 but did not get a release anywhere else in the world. They played their last live show at London's Camden Palace the same year.
Singer Johhny Dean and bassist Stuart Black formed a new band, Messiah, that lasted until 2000. Guitarist Simon White went on to manage the bands Bloc Party, Phoenix and Les Savy Fav. Guitarist Chris Gentry also manages new act Noah and the Whale, Tommy Sparks and co-manages Phoenix with White. Drummer Matt Everitt left the band in 1996 to join Montrose Avenue, and now works on the news team at Radio station 6Music.. Drummer Todd Parmenter left the band to play in his main band Heck. He went on to play with Lungleg, The Beal, Evan Dando and The Beatings.
- Nuisance (1995) - #11 UK, #25 Japan
- Hay Tiempo! (1998)
- "I'll Manage Somehow" (1995) - #49
- "Daydreamer" (1995) - #14
- "Stardust" (1995) - #16
- "Sleeping In" (1995) - #24
- "Being Brave" (1996) - #10
- "We Love You" (1996) - #22
- Johnny Dean - Vocals (born John Hutchinson Dean, 12 December 1971, Salisbury, England)
- Chris Gentry - Guitar (born 23 February 1977, Southend, England)
- Stuart Black - Bass (born Stuart Lee Black, 1 April 1974, Walthamstow, London, England)
- Simon White - Guitar (born Simon Ian White, 1 July 1977, Moseley, Birmingham, England)
- Matt Everitt - Drums (born Matthew Stephen Everitt, 13 August 1972, Birmingham, England)
- Todd Parmenter - Drums (replaced by Everitt before first release)
- Tud - Drums (former roadie, replaced Everitt in July 1996)
Biography from Wikipedia