Plone (a name taken from a type of computer software) are an electronic music band from Birmingham. The group formed in late 1994 when Mark Cancellara and Mike Johnston started to buy old analogue keyboards and fx and began to rehearse making huge soundscapes. Johnston was living with Billy Bainbridge (who was in another band at the time, Supernal, also containing members of electro band sol dat) who bought himself a keyboard and joined the band.
The band started gigging as support to local bands such as Pram and Broadcast. In 1997, the band was approached by Wurlitzer Jukebox who released the single, "Press a Key". On the strength of this the band was signed to Warp and, in September 1998, released the single "plock". This was tipped as one of the singles of the year by NME, Melody Maker and Dazed & Confused.
An album For Beginner Piano was released in September 1999 to widespread critical acclaim....(Read more). AllMusic described them as a "Mischievous yet spooky English electronic act whose playful aesthetic defined them in the '90s and beyond." Johnston went solo and recorded as Mike In Mono.
Links to Peel
The band scored two entries in successive Festive Fifties, recorded two sessions for Peel's show (the first of which appears in Peel Sessions: The Best 125), and feature in three live performances. Lack of new material (until Puzzlewood in 2020) resulted in no plays by JP for the last five years of the show's life.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 30 June 1998: Warp Records Night, Meltdown (recorded 1998-07-20). Tracks unknown.
- 27 October 1999: Parr Street Studios at Sound City, Liverpool
- Be Rude To Your School
- Top And Low Rent
- Press A Key
- Another One Of Them
- Busy Working
- Bibi Plone
- Top And Low Rent
- Two sessions, no known commercial release.
- Electronic Beauty Parlour / Plock / Sunday Laid Moo
2. Recorded: 1999-09-01. First broadcast: 06 October 1999. No repeats. All titles were given on the day of this broadcast, according to Peel.
- Another One Of Them / Marbles / Busy Working / Dry Pen
Other Shows Played
- 18 September 1997: Press A Key (7") Wurlitzer Jukebox
- 09 October 1997: Press A Key (7") Wurlitzer Jukebox
- 26 November 1997: Electronic Beauty Parlour (7" - Press A Key) Wurlitzer Jukebox
- 03 June 1998: Plaything (v/a 3xLP - We Are Reasonable People) Warp
- 28 July 1998: Plock (12”) Warp
- 11 August 1998: Plock (12") Warp white label
- 26 August 1998: Plock (12") Warp white label
- 02 September 1998: Simple Song (12" - Plock) Warp
- 26 November 1998: Somebody Is Alive And Well Somewhere (v/a CD - Round Squared: Weirdbag Vol.1) Round
- 29 November 1998 (BFBS): 'Somebody Is Alive And Well...Somewhere (Compilation CD-Round Squared: Weirdbag Vol. 1)' (Round)
- 29 December 1998: 'Plock (12 inch)' (Warp) 1998 Festive Fifty #16
- 19 August 1999 (Radio Eins): 'Be Rude To Your School (CD-For Beginner Piano)' (Warp)
- 16 September 1999: Bibi Plone (LP – For Beginner Piano) Warp
- 04 August 1999: 'Marbles (LP - For Beginner Piano)' Warp
- 11 August 1999: 'Be Rude To Your School (LP-For Beginner Piano)' (Warp)
- 12 August 1999: Press A Key (LP - For Beginner Piano) Warp
- 25 August 1999: 'Press A Key (LP-For Beginner Piano)' (Warp)
- 02 September 1999 (Radio Eins): Press A Key
- 23 December 1999: 'Be Rude To Your School (LP-For Beginner Piano)' (Warp) 1999 Festive Fifty #34