Originating from Hastings, Sussex, England, this briefly celebrated indie rock outfit comprised main songwriter Simon Steadman (vocals/guitar), Ellie Wyatt (violin/vocals), Russell Field (drums), Dave Walton (bass), Chris Murphy (b. Nashville, Tennessee, USA; keyboards) and Dominic Minns (percussion/vocals). After beginning to write his own songs at the age of 15, Steadman formed his first band, named the Dharma Bums, after moving from London to Hastings, where he attended college. The nucleus of the band was formed from the local musicians’ community, and with the name shortened to Dharmas they began touring the UK, including a headlining appearance at the Avlon Stage at the Glastonbury Festival. There they were spotted by Rhythm King Records who eventually signed the band in April 1995. They released their debut single, ‘Runaway’, in August 1995, which reached number 7 in the Independent chart. The second, ‘3 Miles High’, followed in the summer of 1996, but a major label recording contract went sour and derailed the band’s promising career. Steadman, Wyatt, Walton and Field carried on playing together in Steadman.
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