John Mullin (vocals/guitar), Mark McCausland (guitar) and Declan McManus (drums) formed the Basement in their native Northern Ireland, before relocating to Liverpool, England in the early years of the new millennium. Here they recruited bass player Graeme Hassall and in 2002 landed a recording contact with the Deltasonic label, home to hip Liverpool band and fellow jangle pop aficionados the Coral. The quartet toured with the Coral and also supported the Thrills and John Squire over the course of the next year. They also released two well-received singles during 2003, ‘Medicine Day’ and ‘Slain The Truth (At The Roundhouse)’, that demonstrated both a mastery of melodic guitar pop and Mullin’s penchant for affecting a vocal delivery eerily close to 60s era Bob Dylan. The quartet continued to balance touring commitments with work on their debut album throughout 2004, returning at the end of the year with the single, ‘Do You Think You’re Movin’ On’. Illicit Hugs And Playground Thugs was finally released in summer 2006.