are an electronica act from Nottingham in England, consisting of Neil "Nail" Tolliday and Simon Mills. They gained critical acclaim from their debut album Programmed to Love
in 2000.The duo were initially noted for their ability to create their own mischievous style of recordings by sampling their private record collections (which they have themselves referred to as "dodgy"). On the 2003 single "Magic Love" they sampled a Toni Tennille performance. Nana Mouskouri is one of the artists they have sampled the most so far. Another notably sampled artist is the Canadian singer Anne Murray, whose song "Just Bidin' My Time" is heavily used for the lyrics of "Leavin' Me".With the release of 2004's Ariels
, Bent took a sharp turn into live-based recording using predominantly original material. 2006's Intercept!
saw the duo taking a step back into the style reminiscent of the first two albums, although adding a more discoesque touch. Their prankster-ish reputation is reprised with the track "Stay Out All Night", in which the sole lyric (repeated twice) is "People who are afraid of the dark send their children to bed and stay out all night".Following the relative hiatus of the band (there have been no official release since the "Best of" in 2009), both Nail and Simon Mills have maintained a musical activity of their own, Simon Mills heading a solo project called Napoleon, with a self-titled first album digitally released in 2011, very similar to early Bent in its delicate blending of soft electronic music and vintage samplings. A second album, "Magpies", also close to the Bent sound, followed in 2013.
Use in advertising
The song "Private Road" was used in the 2001 Carlsberg "Bank" commercial. "Invisible Pedestrian" was featured in an Absolut Vodka commercial that aired in 2003 and was also in a commercial of the Dutch Railways (NS) in 2006, Both songs are from the album "Programmed to Love". The song "Silent Life" off the album "Ariels" was featured in a Coca-Cola commercial that aired in 2006.The song "As You Fall" was used in an advert for the UK Conservative party in the run up to the 2005 general election.In television, the song "Beautiful Otherness" was used in Keen Eddie."Thick Ear" from The Everlasting Blink was used in a TV campaign for Tax Credits, with a voice over by Jenny Eclair. It has also been used by digital radio station BBC7 on some of its trailers (2008)."Silent Life" was used since 2009 in various Impresa Semplice TV campaigns in Italy.