After the failure of Triple 8, Phixx, and D-Side to break through into the increasingly narrowing pop market, five-piece V were the final throw of the dice for the traditional U.K. boy band. A refreshing antidote to the eternal balladry of Westlife, the band possessed the "cheeky chappie" persona of Take That, songs written by Girls Aloud producer Brian Higgins, and a strong alliance with Busted and McFly, but still couldn't revive the dying genre. Formed in 2002 through auditions held by Prestige Management, all five members had a background in performing. Antony Brant had appeared in a BBC TV pop reality show, Aaron Buckingham had performed with the National Youth Theatre, Mark Harle had been a session drummer for various high-profile artists, Leon Pisani had been a choirboy in his native Cardiff, while Kevin McDaid had studied performing arts. After signing to Universal Records a year later, the band moved in together and began writing songs for their debut album. Following a support slot on Busted's U.K. arena tour in 2004, they released their debut single, "Blood Sweat and Tears," which reached number six in the U.K. charts. After a performance of the Jacksons' "Can You Feel It" on ITV's Discomania show garnered such a positive reception, the track was released as a double A-side with the Xenomania-written "Hip to Hip" for their next single, and managed to chart one place higher at number five. Third single "You Stood Up" (number 12) missed the Top Ten and their debut album of the same name, released in the busy Christmas period, sank without trace, charting at a lowly number 86. The band were dropped at the beginning of 2005 and an announcement of a split on their website soon followed. Harle is now the drummer for indie rock outfit Little Comets, McDaid is a photographer, while Buckingham is now singing in U.S. theaters.
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