This Staffordshire, England-formed psych-indie quintet came together in 2002 with a line-up comprising Phil Mason (b. 7 September 1979, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England; guitar/vocals), Ali Heath (b. 26 July 1979, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England; bass/vocals), Leon Jones (b. 24 January 1974, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England; guitar), Jamie Gordon (b. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England; keyboards) and Andy Shaw (b. 16 March 1983, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England; drums). The band incessantly toured the UK until, in 2005, they were finally signed by London-based label Blow Up. The following year the mainstream British music press generally kept their praise for post- Libertines, chart-friendly acts such as the Kooks or the Fratellis, but Alfa9 were among an undercurrent of indie guitar bands that chose to act as if the Strokes and the whole post-millennial obsession with post-punk had never happened. Steeping themselves in the sound of 1967-73 era Pink Floyd, the band also fused a love of underrated acts such as Californians Beachwood Sparks and Liverpool, England’s Shack with their strong grounding in the 90s English space rock of Ride, the Verve and Spiritualized.
The singles, ‘For Your Bones’ and ‘Deadman’ appeared and gained modest UK airplay prior to the release of their debut, Then We Begin, in August 2006, which was recorded at the Charlatans’ Big Mushroom studio in Cheshire, England with the help of esteemed Liverpool-based producer Mike Cave. A number of prestigious support slots ensued with acts such as the Icicle Works and Echo And The Bunnymen.