The band's first line-up consisted of Blaine Harrison on drums, William Rees on guitar and Henry Harrison (Blaine's father) on bass. Henry became a second guitarist in the band and they were joined by Kai Fish on bass and Tamara Pearce-Higgins on keyboards. The band at this time recorded an eponymous EP with Aswad producer Nick Sykes. Blaine (whose voice had yet to break) took lead vocals. Tamara left the band, and Blaine switched from drums to keyboards. The band had a brief stint with a friend of Will (known only as Max) on drums, but he was unreliable and for a time a drum machine was used. The band advertised on internet message boards for a drummer and found Kapil Trivedi.
The Eel Pie Island EP was recorded soon after by bishopdante at Rooster studios, from which it became obvious that a period of touring would be required to develop tightness and material, and so a white van with a trailer was bought, and the mystery jets set off. The band issued its first proper single, a limited edition 7" of "Zoo Time", on Transgressive Records. The Mystery Jets ran a series of illegal parties on Eel Pie Island, attracting large crowds, before being shut down by the police. They went on to sign to 679 Recordings. After 2005 saw a number of singles and their TV debut on MTV TWO's Spanking New Music Week (alongside Editors, The Kooks, Clor and The Longcut), the start of 2006 saw the band gain their highest charting single with "The Boy Who Ran Away", play the ShockWaves NME Awards Tour and make their first appearance on Top of the Pops. The band's debut UK album, Making Dens, was released on 6 March 2006.
On 18 September 2006, the band put on a tribute show to Syd Barrett, one of their biggest influences. The show was put on at the Union Chapel in Islington, London. Performers were Kid Harpoon, Lupen Crook, Kate Nash, Dan Treacy and the Television Personalities, Drew from Babyshambles, Ben from SixToes, Lucas from the Cazals and Mystery Jets. The groups created a special fanzine made for the show with entries from all the performers and artwork by the bands.
December 2006 saw the band release "Umbrellahead / Half In Love With Elizabeth" through its MySpace site to competition winners. It was during this time that William Rees began his romantic relationship with Japanese model, Waka Inoue, whom he had met while on tour in Japan in February 2007. The two tracks were produced by Erol Alkan and were meant to be part of a ten-inch vinyl acoustic EP, but that idea was scrapped. Throughout 2007 the band wrote new songs (including "Hand Me Down", "Pink Elephant" and "Undercover Lover", the latter two being renamed "Veiled In Grey" and "Hideaway" and all three being included on their album Twenty One) and played more gigs around the world, especially in America where they released their debut album Zootime (a collection of tracks from Making Dens, as well as EPs and singles) on 8 May, through Dim Mak Records.
Henry Harrison decided to stop playing live with the band shortly afterwards, but is still very much involved and went into the studio with the rest of the band. At the end of 2007 the band went on a short club show across the UK, and released a free Christmas single, "Flakes".
Their second album, Twenty One, was released on 24 March 2008. Produced by Erol Alkan and mixed by renowned producer Nick Launay, it was preceded by the single "Young Love" featuring Laura Marling, released on 10 March 2008. The second single released from the album was "Two Doors Down". It reached 24 in the U.K charts, their highest position so far.
On Sunday 8 June 2008 the band played at the Scottish RockNess music festival which attracted over 35,000 music lovers - the bands set was broadcast on national UK broadcaster, Hitz Radio. The band also spoke backstage about their rise to fame, reviving the eighties and how they plan to take over the world.
In January 2009 Mystery Jets left their previous contract with 679 Recordings and signed a new deal with Rough Trade Records. They have begun recording a new album - expected in early 2010 - and continue to tour.
The White Cross Revival parties
Much attention has been drawn to their hosting of a series of parties, dubbed "The White Cross Revival", on Eel Pie Island. The parties, featuring as many bands as possible on one stage each night, have played host to the likes of:
- Acoustic Ladyland
- Larrikin Love
- Good Shoes
- Dr Filth
- Jamie T
- The Noisettes
- Les Incompetents
- Jeremy Warmsley
- The Archive
- The Mergatroid
Over 600 people attended the final Eel Pie Party.
- Blaine Harrison – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion, effects.
- William Rees – guitar, backing and lead vocals, keyboards, percussion
- Kai Fish – bass, backing vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Kapil Trivedi – drums
- Henry Harrison – vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion (does not tour with the band)
- Tamara Pearce-Higgins – keyboards
- Making Dens (6 March 2006, 679 Recordings) UK #32
- Zootime (8 May 2007, U.S. only release, Dim Mak Recordings)
- Twenty One (24 March 2008, 679 Recordings) UK #42
- "Zoo Time" (14 February 2005, Transgressive)
- "On My Feet" (2005, Good and Evil)
- "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" (12 September 2005, #44 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "Alas Agnes" (5 December 2005, #33 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "The Boy Who Ran Away" (27 February 2006, #23 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" (reissue 22 May 2006, #41 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "Diamonds in the Dark" (4 September 2006, #47 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "Young Love" featuring Laura Marling (10 March 2008, #34 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "Two Doors Down" (2 June 2008, #24 UK, 679 Recordings)
- "Half in Love With Elizabeth" (25 August 2008, #107 UK, 679 Recordings)
7" special limited
- Powercut Serenades (Signed with "Umbrellahead" and "Half In Love With the Radio" on. Limited edition of 300 copies all given away to competition winners)
- Mystery Jets EP (self financed, CD)
- Eel Pie Island (self financed, CD)
- Christmas Sessions (self financed, CD)
- Official website
- Mystery Jets at MySpace
- Interview with Subculture Magazine, April 2007
- Interview with and photos of the Mystery Jets, October 2006
- Interview with the band on fender.co.uk
- Blaine and Henry Harrison interviewed by The Times, February 2006
- Interview with The Times, January 2006
- Interview with the band on ukmusic.com, December 2005
- The Jitty Interview: Mystery Jets, 2009
- Mystery Jets reviews at Daily Music Guide
- Hear Mystery Jets on the Low Slung Podcast
Biography from Wikipedia