Noussommes formed in 1986, originally the band was a four piece, with the addition of Grant Kirkhope in the summer of 1987 the bands direction leaned further toward a heavier, but more accessible sound.
The band soon gained a strong following locally and started picking up airplay on local radio. Support slots with major bands soon followed as Noussommes name began to be better known with rock fans throughout the UK.
What moved Noussommes up to the next level was the band being invited to open up for Ozzy Osbourne on his No More Tears UK tour, playing in front capacity crowds in sold out venues. This increased the bands profile hugely. It was around this time the band first recorded with producer Stephen Harris, a relationship which lasted the duration of the band’s history. Stephen had been working with Little Angels and had got to know Grant as he was also a member of the Big Bad Horns, the brass section of Little Angels, away from his guitar duties with Noussommes.
Rise Up, Steal Your Fire and Still So Hungry were recorded at Slaughterhouse Studios in Driffield, Yorkshire.
The band knew that in order to get their newly recorded music to where it needed to be, in the ears of the record labels, strong management representation was required. Only a few weeks after the Slaughterhouse session was completed Noussommes signed a management deal with Andy Farrow of Far North Music.
The band then embarked on their first UK headline tour, receiving positive reviews from the UK rock press including a five-star review in Kerrang magazine. After the tour had finished, the band were asked to record a session for BBC Radio One’s Friday Rock Show, which was a coup for a band who had yet to ink a recording contract.
Another successful 32 date UK tour was undertaken during April and May of 1990 which took the band to new towns and cities, but despite this none of the record companies courting the band would take the leap and offer a recording contract.
Just a few weeks after the tour Brian and Gareth (drums and bass guitar) both elected to step away from the band, Noussommes were left looking to find a new rhythm section. Andy Greaves was recruited as the new bass player. He was from a band who had toured with Noussommes previously. Drummer Michael Lee (who also knew Grant from his time with Little Angels) became involved shortly after. Michael at the time was playing in The Cult, but had time away from his commitments with them, so came onboard for the recordings of No Absolution, Blinded and Backbone at KGS studios in Wakefield and the subsequent live shows that the band played that summer.
Despite the blistering sound of the KGS session, and many complements on the bands ability to write and perform at the very top of their game both in the media and from record labels, the band again found themselves with no concrete offers on the table to release an album.
With Michael returning to his commitments with The Cult the band found themselves with some very big boots to fill. After a couple of short-term incumbents behind the kit, Phil Moody joined the band, this was also the time the band reverted to a four piece again with Nick Dunne leaving.
Later that year, the band went to London to record what turned out to be their final session at Chrysalis studios. The tracks Break Me Down, Death of Me and No Conscience showed a band not stagnating, but still evolving.
It seemed the newfound popularity of Grunge was turning the heads of the record companies at this point in time toward a different direction to that which the band was heading, and the decision was taken by the band to split up in 1993.
Grant went on to have a very successful career in music, composing and performing, and has been nominated for various awards including a prestigious BAFTA. Three members of Noussommes did get together again and recorded an album under the name Tribe called “Pray for calm ...Need the chaos” in 2009 which was critically well received and featured some re-imagined versions of Noussommes songs.
Skip forward almost thirty years, and the band's studio sessions are finally released worldwide. Click here to see and purchase the CD.
Noussommes Band Members
Paul Kettley – Vocals (all sessions)
Grant Kirkhope – Guitars (all sessions)
Nick Dunne – Guitars (Slaughterhouse & KGS sessions)
Andy Greaves – Bass guitar (KGS and Chrysalis sessions)
Gareth McKenzie – Bass guitar (Slaughterhouse session)
Brian Wilson – Drums (Slaughterhouse session)
Michael Lee -Drums (KGS session)
Phil Moody – Drums (Chrysalis session)