Clocks formed in Epsom & Ewell (just outside London) in 2000. After deciding in 2005 to take music seriously, they spent their university vacations gigging and recording. They have recorded with Liam Watson (The White Stripes, Supergrass, Madness) and on 14 August 2006 released their debut single, That Much Better on Hungry Kid Records. This was enough to convince a suitably impressed Island Records to sign them up to a major record deal that same week.
The band have spent time this year recording tracks with producer John Cornfield (Razorlight, Supergrass, Muse), and have recorded their début album for Island Records with producer Eliot James (Bloc Party), due out Summer 2008. The album was leaked through several p2p sites on July 13, without even having a title.
Tom Hewitt (b. 15 June 1986) - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Ed Hilliam (b. 11 May 1985) - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Rich Farris (b. 14 March 1987) - Drums, Vocals
John Ricketts (b. 24 April 1985) - Bass
Frontman Tom Hewitt and guitarist Ed Hilliam were in the same class at West Ewell County First School in 1990-1991, despite being of different ages, due to the school's then policy of mixing reception and year one classes. This means that Hewitt was 4 years old and Hilliam was 5 when they first met. Ricketts and Hilliam became friends while in the same class at Danetree Middle School. Tom Hewitt and Rich Farris also attended this school, but since they were in different year groups (Hewitt was one year below Ricketts and Hilliam; Farris was one below Hewitt) they didn't become friends until they met at Scouts. Ed Hilliam, John Ricketts and Rich Farris went on to Epsom & Ewell High School, while Tom Hewitt attended Sutton Grammar School.
Clocks have delivered three UK tours to date; November 2006, February 2007 (with Grace) and September/October 2007 (with The Departure
). The band have also played one-off shows with the likes of The Fray
and The Feeling
. In 2008 they went on tour to support the band, Scouting For Girls
Clocks played at the Glastonbury Festival 2007 in the Orange Tent on the Saturday.
- Clocks are managed by Chris Gentry, ex-guitarist of '90s britpop band Menswear. The other Menswear guitarist, Simon White, manages bands including Bloc Party.
- Ali Love appears in a shot of Clocks' promotional video for That Much Better.
- Lead singer Tom Hewitt bought his first guitar using the birthday money he received just after finishing his GCSEs.
- Tom Hewitt's brother, Daniel Hewitt, now teaches Physical Education at Sutton Grammar School for Boys, where Hewitt attended as a pupil.
- USAToday.com writer Ken Barnes listed Clocks' début, That Much Better in his top songs of 2006.
- In 2006, Clocks supported The Fray on their first UK show (19/09/06, Metro Club, London), The Like on the last date of their first UK tour (02/11/06, 100 Club, London) and also The Feeling (26/11/06, Loughborough University).
- Guitarist Ed Hilliam's great-grandfather's cousin is B. C. Hilliam (aka Mr. Flotsam) from 1920s/30s British musical comedy duo Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam.
- Clocks were originally called The Rumours and kept this name for a number of years. However, they decided to change it after finding out that two other bands (one from Canada and another from Australia) shared this name.
- Although predominantly self-taught, guitarist Ed Hilliam and bassist John Ricketts received several guitar/bass lessons from Robin Willes who played guitar and sang in Jimmy Page's (of Led Zeppelin fame) 1950s skiffle band The JG Skiffle Group. A video of The JG Skiffle Group performing on the BBC's Hew Welden Show in 1957 can be found here:
- The decision for Ed to play guitar and John to play bass was completely arbitrary; neither of them could play these instruments when the band formed in 2000. John had played a little classical guitar in his middle schools days, and Ed had played flute at high school.
Notes and references