Sometime in the early 21st century, deep in the leafy suburbs of downtown Southampton, a mild mannered part-time shop assistant and unassuming sandwich delivery-boy were hatching a plan to rescue quality soulful music from almost certain oblivion.
Ross Wakefield and Toby Vane (as they’re known to the taxman) harnessed their shared influences, ranging from Public Enemy and Joe Cocker to Elbow and Nick Drake, and began to create their own unique supersonic sound. They invited selected friends and musicians to bring more of a live element to their recordings, including newcomers Jono McCleery (Music Weeks ‘Best Unsigned Act of 2005’), Lucy Kitchen, Bridgette Amofah (Oi Va Voi), Pete Simpson (Elektrons), BBC Jazz award winner and Ronnie Scotts’ fave Liane Carroll (London Elektricity) and Laura Vane (MJ Cole, Hardkandy).
2006 saw the duo release their debut recording, the ‘Realise’ EP, earning them global critical acclaim, and radio rotation from Zane Lowe, Mr Scruff, Ras Kwame, and Benji B, amongst others. Indeed, Gilles Peterson became the duo’s number one champion, inviting them to record a live session at Maida Vale Studios. By the end of the year the Heroes had landed themselves two nominations at the BBC Worldwide Awards and things were starting to hot up!
Having turned out well received remixes for a plethora of artists, including Wallis Bird and N’Dambi, and having delivered some more dance floor focused cuts (under their PTH Projects guise) for Wah Wah 45s, the time had now come to unleash the debut LP – “Meanwhile…”.
The Part-Time Heroes’ sound has often been compared to scene defining stalwarts like Koop, Zero 7 and Portishead, and “Meanwhile….” continues that legacy, pushing forward with a uniquely refreshingly, wholesome and honest style, complete with live instrumentation, deep jazz roots, folky flourishes and organic, soul nourishing goodness.
The Heroes will be touring the album with their full live band throughout the latter half of 2008 and into ’09, following up road blocked gigs at The Jazz Café & Pigalle Club with a number of festivals over the summer and a huge album launch at Cargo on September 12th. Shop assistant and delivery boy RIP, these boys are on a mission, and won’t stop until their work is done.