never was taken seriously. Then again, they never wanted to be taken seriously. As the clowns of Brit-pop,
carved out a niche with their infectious, goofy punk-pop that alternately sounded like the early
. While they had a number of hit singles in the UK, highlighted by "Staying Out for the Summer," their quirky British humor prevented them from landing an American record deal for several years. Nevertheless,
was able to maintain a devoted cult following into the late '90s, as they kept turning out catchy, silly power-pop tunes.
An early version of Dodgy
formed in the late '80s, when Nigel Clarke
(vocals, bass) and Mathew Priest
(drums) moved from their native Birmingham to London. As they began working odd jobs, they placed an advertisement for a guitarist, eventually recruiting Andy Miller
. Over the next few years, Dodgy
played frequently, including regular stints at the Dodgy Club, where they made their live debut. In 1991, they formed their own Bostin record label to release their own singles, including "Summer Fayre" and "Easy Way.". By the end of 1992, Dodgy
had earned a sizable following, attracting the attention of major labels. They signed a contract with A&M later that year, releasing their debut, The Dodgy Album
, in May 1993. The record was praised by the British music press, and Dodgy
soon became regulars at the emerging Camden pop scene, which was headed by Blur
returned during the fall of 1994 with the single "Staying Out for the Summer," which became their first Top 40 hit. It set the stage for their breakthrough album, Homegrown
, which was greeted with positive reviews upon its October release. Following a year of touring in 1995, the band returned in the summer of 1996 with Free Peace Sweet
, which was their biggest hit to date, spawning the hits "In A Room," "Good Enough" and "If You're Thinking of Me," which peaked at number 11.