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The Shins prepare for second album with UK tour

Story: Jack Foley

THE Shins look set for a big year, following the success of their January blitz of the UK.

The band comprises James Mercer, Marty Crandall, Jesse Sandoval and Dave Hernandez, and was formed in 1997, in Albuquerque.

Debut album Oh, Inverted World, became one of the US indie scene’s success stories following its release in 2001, selling around 150,000 copies during its lifetime.

Achieving plaudits and very real sales through word-of-mouth, stunning, simple videos and constant touring, The Shins have gone on to become one of the most critically revered bands in the US of recent times.

GQ rated Oh, Inverted World on of the 40 best albums of the 21st Century and in the UK, The Shins’ debut effort was voted into Mojo’s top 20 albums of the year 2001, despite no real domestic release.

Already, The Shins’ second album Chutes Too Narrow (released in the US in October 2003, on Sub Pop) looks set to build on these famous foundations: it spent the Winter 2003 holding off all-comers from the top spot on the CMJ chart, and has been rewarded with bumper sales, as well as scheduled appearances on Letterman and Conan O’Brien in early ’04.

The album was mostly recorded in Mercer’s basement, and was produced by the band, with Phil Ek (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Built To Spill).

It is released in the UK on March 15, and is preceded by a single, So Says I, on March 1.

Having played three small London club shows, in January, The Shins will return to the UK to headline at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on April 24.

This date culminates the band’s first ever European and UK tour. Dates follow:

1 - King’s Cross Water Rats
2 - Camber Sands All Tomorrow’s Parties
18 - Leeds Cockpit
19 - Manchester University
20 - Glasgow King Tut’s
21 - Nottingham Rescue Rooms
22 - Leicester Princess Charlotte
23 - Brighton Concorde
24 - London Shepherd’s Bush Empire


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