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Taking cues from Suede and Smiths, as well as the Byrds and the Lovin' Spoonful, Geneva carved out a distinctive, idiosyncratic niche in the post-Brit-pop territory of late '90s British indie-rock.
Geneva formed in 1992 in Aberdeen, Scotland when Andrew Montgomery (vocals) and Steven Dora (guitar) met and began writing songs together. Montogmery was then working as a journalist for the Sunday Post and Dora was studying marine biology at university, and neither had previously been in a band before. Eventually, they recruited guitarist Stuart Evans and bassist Keith Graham and, after spending some time working with a drum machine, drummer Douglas Caskie. Playing both originals and '60s folk-rock standards, the band began rehearsing under the name Sunfish and started playing Scottish clubs as of 1992. Over the course of the next year, their enthusiasm began to wear out, and they eventually stopped sending out demos. Nevertheless, they continued playing and writing new songs that were more individual than their previous material, using this new material as leverage for a gig in London. One of these new demos made its way toward Nude Records, who signed the band after witnessing one rehearsal. Changing their name from Sunfish to Geneva, the band released their debut single "No One Speaks" to considerable praise in the latter half of 1996. It was followed in early 1997 by "Into the Blue," and by its release, the UK weekly music press had divided into factions that supported Geneva and critics who believed they were a manufactured band.
Geneva released their full-length debut album, Further, early in the summer of 1997. Their sophomore effort, Weather Underground, arrived three years later.
- Aberdeen, Scotland
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