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Mixing passion and business.

After five years of setbacks and disappointments, Four Day Hombre were ready to throw in the towel. Since forming in 1999, they had tried everything to please faceless London labels.

They had demos played on Radio 1 and received plenty of interest, but repeatedly their hopes of a major deal fell through. In 2005, they realised the endless struggle was killing their creativity, so they decided to set up their own label.

Fortunately for the Leeds-based foursome, the faith of their fans was strong as steel. When they learnt of Four Day Hombre's `last stand', some literally signed away their savings to back the band's efforts.

They needed pounds 35,000 - but collected far more than that and in 2005 their label, Alamo Music, was born.

The band have already put out two singles on the label.

Now they are about to release their debut album, Experiments In Living on March 6.

Huddersfield-born drummer Mark `Ash' Ashwell said: "We weren't sure we'd get to make this record. We have been very lucky.

"We put a couple of emails out on our mailing list, which has 6,000 people on it and out of this, the shareholders came." Ash was the last member to join Four Day Hombre. Vocalist Simon Wainwright, guitarist Rich Huxley, keyboard player Ed Waring and bass player Jason Miller had all met at Lancaster University.

They moved to Leeds and began searching for a drummer. Ed suggested Ash, a former classmate from Mirfield High School, studying music at Huddersfield Technical College.

It was three months before the band played a note together, as their first act was to get a house in Leeds and renovate the cellar as a rehearsal space.

Then they began creating their eclectic sound, influenced by Elbow, Keane, David Bowie and Nick Drake.

The 10 tracks on the Experiments In Living are taken from material written by the group over the past three years.

It was recorded at Black Box Studios, in the Loire Valley in France, with producer Dave Odlum.

They have just finished touring to promote Experiments In Living and will be busy with the label before hitting the road again in April. In fact, setting up the label in 2005 was a struggle like its namesake - an 1836 battle in Texas where rebels staged a 13-day stand.

Fortunately, Four Day Hombre survived the ordeal - unlike the rebels.

Ash said: "The label was set up to be a mechanism for the album, but now it has turned into something much bigger.

"You have to have a double life - be a businessman for the label and then go on stage and turn into the band and be passionate.

"It's the first time any of us have done. It's babysteps. It's a full time job and pretty soon, none of us will be working for anyone else.

"The whole idea of calling it Alamo Music was because it was our last stand against the industry.

"If it didn't work we'd have called time on it." Luckily for fans, it did work and Four Day Hombre are now attracting interest not only in the UK but in Australia, Canada and France.

Ash said: "Going international is one of the things that makes you feel you have arrived.

"We want a little bit of personal reward for it all! But really, we feel like we've won simply by getting the label set up and the album put out. It's been a real rollercoaster ride and pretty scary."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2006
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