are an English indie rock band, formerly based on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, London. The band was formed by Henry Harrison (lyrics, piano), Blaine Harrison (vocals, guitar and keyboards) and William Rees (guitar, vocals) when the boys were still at school and would send each other songs on cassettes. The other member is Kapil Trivedi (drums).Formation and early demos (2004)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 the organ. Kai joined the band after suggestions that they needed a bassist (he played the cello originally). Their original name was The Misery Jets, which was taken from an Evening Standard headline (Eel Pie Island is under the Heathrow flight path, where planes can be frequently spotted). It got changed to Mystery Jets when Blaine accidentally misspelled the name while painting it on a drum skin.The band at this time recorded an eponymous EP with Aswad producer Nick Sykes. They would practice in the boat shed built by Henry on land he bought after a hippie commune on Eel Pie Island burnt down. 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 Williams' (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. Kapil is not from Eel Pie Island like the rest of the members, but rather Wembley, North London. He found out about the band through his drum teacher. Mystery Jets draws influences from Hall and Oates, Syd Barrett, and Pink Floyd. William Rees has named Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie as his guitar inspirations. Much attention has been drawn to their hosting of a series of parties, dubbed "The White Cross Revival", on Eel Pie Island.
Making Dens and Zootime (2005–2006)
The Eel Pie Island EP
was recorded soon after by a young producer called Bishop Dante 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 Mystery Jets set off. The band issued its first proper single, a limited edition 7" of "Zoo Time", on Transgressive Records. 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. 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. He still helps with songwriting and occasionally makes onstage appearances. Henry has said,"I'm just another member, I'm one of five. I love it. That whole authority thing served a purpose and when it was done I was glad to relinquish it, because it got in the way of us working properly together."
Twenty One (2007–2008)
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. The album represented a change in the band's sound, shifting from psychedelic and progressive rock towards more of a pop direction.On 8 June 2008, the band played at the Scottish RockNess music festival which attracted over 35,000 music lovers - the band's 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 2008 Mystery Jets, along with Jeremy Warmsley and Adem, contributed the song "Grains of Sand" to the Survival International charity album Songs for Survival
In January 2009, Mystery Jets left their previous contract with 679 Recordings and signed a new deal with Rough Trade Records. They also began recording a new album and continued to tour. They performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals at the end of August 2010.In April 2010, Mystery Jets announced their third studio album, Serotonin
. The album was released on 5 July 5, 2010 and was produced by Chris Thomas. The working title was Luminescence
but the name was changed later on. Blaine has said that he wanted this album to be "quintessential Mystery Jets record." A promotional single, entitled "Flash A Hungry Smile", was made available on the band's website for free. The first single to be released from the album, "Dreaming Of Another World" was added to BBC Radio 1's B Playlist in May 2010 and was also released on 5 July 2010. On 5 July, Mystery Jets performed an instore session at Rough Trade East for their album release. A limited edition 12" was released as well as CD format and digital download. In 2010, the band featured on The Count & Sinden track, "After Dark".
In March 2011 following a secret SXSW show, the band set up a home recording studio in a country house by the Colorado River of Texas in the Westlake area in Austin, Texas. Writing and recording sessions lasted two months, at the end of which the band returned to the UK to play the summer festivals. Two of the confirmed tracks are "Radlands" and "Sister Everett." Blaine went to California in early July to get inspiration and imagery for the songs. On the 22nd of November 2011, the Mystery Jets announced that their new album will be released in April 2012, with a tour to follow in May 2012. On 3 April 2012, shortly before the release of Radlands
, it was announced that Kai Fish would be leaving the band, with bassist Pete Cochrane taking his place for the band's UK tour. On the 15th of February 2013 it was announced that the Mystery Jets would be performing at Y Not Festival in Derbyshire on Friday the 2nd of August 2013.