Named, somewhat perplexingly, after the vacant look often associated with Vietnam veterans, Thousand Yard Stare are a quintessentially English five-piece band from Slough, Berkshire. The band was formed in November 1988 by friends who knew each other from regular evenings at their local venue, Windsor's Psykik Dance Hall. The band was comprised of Stephen Barnes (vocals), Dominic Bostock (drums), Sean McDonough (bass), Giles Duffy (guitar), and Kevin Moxon (rhythm guitar). They released a four-track EP, Weatherwatching, on their own Stifled Aardvark label, and sold it at gigs from November 1990 onwards. The next year saw mounting music press interest and support slots with bands such as Carter USM, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Milltown Brothers, and James. In opposition to the dominant shoegazing ethos, the bandmembers always proved themselves highly vivid live exponents, if not as inspired as some of those headlining acts. Signing to Polydor Records for their debut album, Barnes' lyrics proved the band’s greatest asset -- falling only a little short of the stature of XTC's -- while dealing in similar neo-romantic English themes.
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