The Sunshine Underground are originally from Telford and Shrewsbury, and formed while studying at New College Telford. After New College the band moved to Woodhouse in Leeds where the band started to develop its sound.
They sold out venues in London and Leeds on their first headline tour. Following their successful support slots for LCD Soundsystem, the group earned the Live Band of the Year trophy at the Leeds Music Awards.
Work on their debut album, Raise the Alarm, was completed in May 2006 and was released on August 28, 2006. They appeared on the 2006 spring/summer European festival circuit.
November saw the band play even more gigs, at increasingly large venues throughout the UK, including cities like Glasgow, Preston, Barnsley and London with the addition of other concerts in May 2007. Most notably they played the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in June and played a headline set on the future stage at T in the Park in July and performed at the Leeds/Reading Festival in August 2007, playing on the NME stage. The band headlined the Strathclyde University’s 2007 freshers week.
In November 2008, after several months of non-activity, the band posted several new demos on their MySpace page titled ‘Malibu’, ‘Epic’, ‘Darktime’, ‘Animals’ and ‘An Introduction’. It was stated by the band that none of these songs would make their second album.
They recorded a song with FC Kahuna named “From The City To The Sea” which was made public and free for download in February 2009. It was released as a free download because it differed too much from the other songs to make it on the album. The song takes a sample from the Aphex Twin track Windowlicker.
On 16 April 2009, the band put up low-resolution versions of five tracks from their new album on their MySpace account; “In Your Arms”, “Coming to Save You”, “Spell It Out”, “Your Friends” and “Any Minute Now”. The band performed at various festivals over the summer including ‘V’ festival and a number of smaller, more local festivals include Bathgate Live and Bingley.
On 3 November 2009 TSU released a 5 Track EP called ‘Everything, Right Now’. The EP features 2 previously unheard tracks, 2 reworked demo’s that were on their Myspace in November 2008 (Darktime, now renamed Dark Days, and Animals), and the track “Coming to Save You” which was to be on their second album.The band finally released the follow-up to Raise The Alarm on 1 February 2010 named Nobody’s Coming to Save You released on City Rockers/EMI. The album reached #86 on the UK album chart following its release. To coincide with the release of the album, TSU embarked on a 3 week tour of the UK playing at venues such as Glasgow ABC, Manchester Ritz, Koko (Camden) and finishing with a sold out homecoming gig at Leeds Academy.
The band released ‘We’ve Always Been Your Friends’ as a standalone download online single on February 15, followed by the next single released from ‘Nobody’s Coming to Save You’, ‘Spell It Out’, which was released as part of a digital download along with remixes of the first two singles and an official release of the much aired demo, ‘Fall In Line’. The package was released on 17 May. The video is centered about a space chase to defeat a giant robot and is hugely influenced by 80’s computer graphics. TSU went on to sub-headline the Festival Republic tent at the Reading & Leeds festivals over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2010.
On 21 February 2011, TSU bass player Daley Smith announced he would be leaving the band and gave the following statement:
I am sad and happy to announce that I am leaving The Sunshine Underground. Sad because I’m leaving behind some of the best friends I’ve ever had, but also happy because I can now set off on a completely new adventure. There have been no fall-outs or bust ups, no artistic differences or any bad blood what so ever. I just feel, for me, it is just time for something new. This was not an easy decision to make and I didn’t take it lightly. I toiled for a long time over this and in the end the conclusion was clear. Ever since our humble beginnings we have achieved a huge amount. Highlights have been releasing two great albums and an E.P, Japan, SxSW, Mexico, Glastonbury, and too many more to mention them all here. We have been blessed with some of the most loyal and brilliant fans a band could ever wish for. I’d like to thank each and every one of you, for turning up, tuning in and not dropping out. Thanks again you mental bastards. Looking forward, I will play my last gigs with the band in April, my last waltz will be Snowbombing. I wish the other three lads the best of luck for the future, and I know they will continue to make me proud by producing some more amazing music. So, for now it is goodbye.
TSU later confirmed they will be continuing as a three-piece and are already well underway to compiling tracks for the forthcoming third album. • Wikipedia biography