Discovered and championed by John Peel in early 2004, Decoration made their Radio One debut with Joy Adamson a song from the band’s first demo The Thomas Pink Session. Impressed by their initial efforts, Peel phoned the band personally and invited them down to Maida Vale Studios in London to record a Peel session.
The session was aired a month later, creating a buzz among music fans and industry alike. As interest in the band grew, Decoration produced a second demo that Peel also began playing, containing what would later become the band’s first official single I tried it, I liked it, I loved it. The demo caught the attention of Edinburgh-based label SL Records, one of Peel’s favorite labels at that time. In fact, Peel had recently dedicated a whole show to the label and its bands, so Decoration had found their perfect fit.
On October 25 that year the devastating news of John Peel’s death rocked the world and the band. As part of its tributes, the BBC ran John Peel’s Festive Fifty for the final time on Radio One that year, and Decoration cemented their place forever in reputable music trivia pub quizzes by reaching number 24 with I tried it, I liked it, I loved it – the highest-ever placing for a white label release. Joy Adamson also popped up at number 39. This recognition from the fans – the Festive 50 was a listener poll – was the trigger the band needed to begin work on their debut album.
Returning to Maida Vale for what should have been their second Peel Session, Decoration recorded four new tracks for Huw Stephens‘ ‘One Music’ show which had taken over Peel’s evening slot. The session included I Tried it, I Liked it, I Loved it, which had just been released on SL, to great reviews. Radio One’s Steve Lamacq made it his single of the week and the track was getting air play in Europe and the US as well as the UK.
A mini UK tour to support the single kicked off with a launch night at 93ft East in London and ended at the Edinburgh Festival supporting the Wedding Present. The tour took them all over the UK and included support slots with the likes of Fleeing New York (aka Band of Skulls), Art Brut and Ballboy (an SL label mate). Additional appearances for Club Fandango in London and at In the City (Manchester) gave tantalising glimpses of the album to come.
Don’t Disappoint Me Now was released in Oct 2005 on SL. Recorded with producer Pat Collier (Primal Scream, House of Love) at Gravity Shack Studios in London, the debut album had the British music press gushing. Mojo Magazine called it “…an energizing rush of ‘80s indie pop spontaneity!” while Record Collector eulogised “Decoration ooze nothing but heartfelt English songwriting circa 1989, when indie really was independent”.
After a successful headline tour of Germany, the band quickly followed the debut with the release of Flippant an album of b-sides, early demos and new nuggets. This prompted the BPI to invite the band to play British Music Week in Germany. Both tracks from the accompanying double-A 7-inch Job in London/Candidate went on to make the all-time Festive Fifty top 20.
As the dust settled on a couple of intense years, financial frustrations and other life niggles strained relations within the band. Shuffling into the studio nevertheless, the band gave birth to See You After The War, its darker mood a mirror of the band’s. Recorded at various studios in Manchester and London, the record saw the band experimenting with a more eclectic sound and featured contributions from John Bramwell of I am Kloot and Jana Heller of US band The Arrogants. Despite its tumultuous conception, SYATW became Huw Stephens album of the week. The 7-inch single release of Square Mile hit the giddy heights of number 3 in the 2008 Festive Fifty and radio sessions for Gideon Coe’s BBC 6Music Show and more support slots with The Wedding Present followed.
After a brief respite in activities, the band began work on their 3rd studio album in 2011 under the watchful eye of new wave producer David M Allen (The Cure, The Chameleons, Sisters of Mercy). Recording took place with David at Lynch Mob and Club Ralph studios in London, with final mix duties undertaken by Pat Collier at Perry Vale studios the album was released on Dec 2014.