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Crackout were a pop-punk / rock / jazz-influenced trio who formed in Oxford, United Kingdom in 1997. As well as releasing two albums and a handful of singles, they toured with artists such as Seafood, Haven and Span before disbanding in late 2005. One notable aspect of the band's live shows was drummer Nick Millard's insistence on wearing a suit for every show. Steven Eagles and Jack Dunkley later adopted the suited look when touring the Oh No! album.

The band, Steven Eagles (guitar, vocals), Nicholas Millard (drums) and Rachel Lavelle (bass), were all just 16 years old when they signed to Shifty Disco after playing just eight gigs as 'Crackout' (named after 'Brian Krakow', a character in American TV teen drama My So-Called Life). Within four weeks of the record label first seeing the band live, they had recorded and released their debut "Chuck" single. An album was also recorded around this time but was never released. Lavelle was shortly replaced on bass by Jack Dunkley.

Crackout toured with Sick Of It All / 28 Days in late December 2000, where they sold a self-released tape containing early recordings of "Breakout" and "Joey Lost His Mind" (both later re-recorded and included on debut album This Is Really Neat). "EP1", a 500-limited edition CD with four songs showing early promise, and "EP2" shortly followed in 2001. Both EPs came with a free sticker and in a hand-numbered cardboard sleeve, finished with a wax seal (red on "EP1"; green on "EP2"). Their debut album, This Is Really Neat, was released that October featuring artwork by Jane Wooster-Scott.

In 2002, plans to release old favourite "Volume" (the B-side to their first single, later re-recorded and featured on This Is Really Neat) were scrapped when "I Am The One" was used in an advert for Salomon Sports. "Volume" was therefore the only Crackout song not released as a single with its own music video.

After long delays, the band's follow up to This Is Really Neat was released in March 2004. However, the promotion for Oh No! was ended abruptly due to EMI deciding to close down Hut Recordings shortly after the album's release. Whilst making plans for a third album, their producer friend Clive Langer asked them if they were interested in playing on a film soundtrack which he was scoring, which ended up with them being cast for small roles in Brothers of the Head, the 2006 mockumentary based on the 1977 novel by Brian Aldiss.

In 2005, Crackout toyed with the idea of adding an extra member to provide them with options with guitars, keyboards and backing vocals live. This led to a few low-key gigs with additional member Simon Plumbley in October that year. After playing these gigs, however, they felt like too much time had passed since their last shows and decided to disband Crackout.

However, 2006 saw Eagles, Millard, Dunkley and Simon now playing in a new group called 'Blackholes', who released "The Alcohol EP" themselves through their MySpace profile, featuring a couple of tracks played at their last few Crackout gigs.

Eagles, Millard and Dunkley have also played in French pop act Vanessa & The O's on a few of their live shows.

It was announced in 2007 that Dunkley had left due to 'creative differences', with Alex Szrok replacing him on bass. In September, it was announced that Blackholes had decided to regroup, renaming the band 'Out Of The Afternoon' and that they had brought in Anna Sales on keyboard and vocals. The newest project at present has a more jazzy sound than previously, with "Alcohol," a slow jazz song being the only 'Blackholes' track used on their myspace profile.

Indexed at Wikipedia.

Chords and Tabs: Crackout