furny is an British alternative band that formed in 1998. Best known for an experimental style of alternative music, the band were one of the first established acts to use Creative Commons licenses on their work.
furny's best-known songs include "Bagpuss" (from the 1999-2005 EP), "Knight Rider Overkill" and "Song for Emma". Their experimental nature allows them a quick turnaround on production, enabling them to produce tracks within days or even hours of events breaking, such as "The Day That John Thingy Died", a song about John Ritter's premature death, and Leeds, which references the hometown of the many of the suspects of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
furny's heavy use of samples means that many of their early tracks are unavailable for release, due to their copyright infringement nature. This led the band to make better use of public domain samples, taken from The Internet Archive.
The band is particularly vocal about its dislike of 'celebrity', and particularly those who seem to seek it by exploiting their particular misfortune, such as Simon Weston, decorated war-hero and after dinner speaker.
Lee and Cousens met in 1998, when Lee presented his Cat demo. Between 1999 and 2005, they worked feverishly, producing a number of tracks under a variety of names, many of which were made available on peer to peer networks, such as Napster and Morpheus.
1999-2005 EP (1999 - 2005)
In 2005, an EP was released, via CD Baby, called simply 1999-2005 EP, containing high-fidelity recordings of many of their more popular tracks. Copies of the CD were sold with a password on them, offering access to a special part of their website, where other tracks, including some which were not recorded for the release could be downloaded. Most of the meager profits from the EP release was used to purchase a Nintendo NES console from eBay, with the intention to use it on later recordings.
The EP was originally known as 'The Legend of Richard Cousens', and later 'Fatcock'.
All Kinds Of Cool Stuff, the furny sessions and reshuffle (2006)
In 2005, hot on the heels of the EP, the band set about working on their next album, All Kinds Of Cool Stuff, which was released as an extremely rare Japanese pressing, after the band were downloaded by the owner of an Japanese indie label.
Unhappy with the rush of this album, furny went back to the studio to rework the album, releasing tracks sporadically. The breakdown within the band over this caused Emma Heys to leave, and almost caused Lee and Cousens to consider winding up the band. During this time, Lee began to work with harpist Vikki Crowe a solo record, this was later aborted and the track 'Celebration For The Coming Of Vikki To Gig In London Song' was recorded, as a stream of conciousness.
more mature escapades in hi-fi
This was followed by a period of 15 months, known as the furny sessions in which occasional tracks were posted to the bands website, and various peer to peer services, including The Day That John Thingy Died and Song for Emma. Though technically a trio, most of the sessions were produced by Lee, alone in a refined recording process that allowed him to produce the sessions-inspired record, more mature escapades in hi-fi in under two weeks.
matt lee — programming/drums/keyboards
mark cousens — samples/guitars
vikki crowe — harp/keyboards
emma heys — vocals