Remind yourself why Meet Me In St Louis were your favourite band

By Ben Tipple

May 2007. I find myself on a boat in the middle of a roundabout in Leeds (known as the Dry Dock to most), either preparing for or recovering from the nearby Slam Dunk Festival. Which of the two it was, I can’t remember. Either way, a group of youngsters are┬ámaking a pretty unusual but downright brilliant noise from the corner of the boat (do boats have corners?).

It isn’t┬áthe first time I’ve heard Meet Me In St Louis, but it is┬ádefinitely the first time I’ve seen them live. From that moment on, I am┬ácaptivated. It is┬áactually the beginning of the end, with the band parting ways with vocalist Toby Hayes later that year. Still, between 2005 and 2007, the mathy post-hardcore outfit opened many an eye to a new wave of music. A key player in the heart of the British underground.

Today marks the band’s release of their back-catalogue via Big Scary Monsters, who incidentally created a Meet Me In St Louis Day – the 24th September of each year. Get that one in your diaries.

“Kev from Big Scary Monsters approached us about a full discography on 2xLP at the end of last year,” says former band member Oliver Knowles. “We were into the idea because it included our first demo EP which was never mastered or properly released.”

“We just burned a bunch of CDs with photocopied inserts to give out free at shows and leave them in record shops and venues. It was great to get Al Petersen of Nyquist Noise to master it so many years after he’d done a really basic recording of the 3 tracks in our practice room in Guildford.”

“I love the sound of those recordings cos they’re so gritty and remind me of how excited and eager we all were at the start. Plus, Corey Feldman is one of my favourite tracks that we wrote and we stopped playing it live quite early on for some reason. The idea of including them in a vinyl discography feels a little bit like closure after such an abrupt end.”

With the double record available from today via Big Scary Monsters, stream the back-catalogue in full below and relive it all, or hear it for the first time. Both are pretty exciting.

LP1 hosts the band’s seminal debut, ‘Variations on Swing’, with LP2 featuring remastered versions of their first three track demo plus the EP, ‘And With The Right Kind Of Eyes’.