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Keane are an English piano rock band, first established in Battle, East Sussex in 1995, taking their current name in 1997. The group is comprised of composer, bassist, and pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, lead vocalist Tom Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes. Their original line-up included founder and guitarist Dominic Scott, who left in 2001. Keane are known for using a piano as their lead instrument instead of guitars, significantly differentiating them from most rock bands. The inclusion of a distorted piano effect since 2006 and various synthesizers are now a common feature in their music that nowadays combines the pure piano rock sound used during their first album and the alternative rock sound which developed during 2005. Acoustic and power ballads are also a highlight in the group's music and have evolved into many fan favourite songs such as "On a Day Like Today" and "We Might As Well Be Strangers".

Keane's first two studio albums, Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea achieved great success in the United Kingdom upon release and very high sales worldwide: their multi-award-winning debut was the best-selling British album of 2004 and their follow-up sold 222,297 copies during its first week on sale in June 2006.

Early years and formation:
Rice-Oxley's brother also called Tom was born in the same hospital on the same day as Chaplin, on March 8, 1979. Their mothers became friends, as did Chaplin and Rice-Oxley. Tom's father David was the headmaster of Vinehall School in Robertsbridge (owned by Chaplin's family) for 25 years, the school both Rice-Oxley and Chaplin attended. Both of them later attended Tonbridge School, where they met Dominic Scott and Richard Hughes. The four of them discovered their liking for music (Rice-Oxley had also learnt to play the flute) but none of them had considered it as a proper career.

While studying at University College, London for a degree in classics in 1995, Rice-Oxley finally managed to form a rock band with Scott, and invited Hughes to play drums. The Lotus Eaters started as a cover band, playing songs by the members' favourite bands, including U2, Oasis, and The Beatles, and rehearsing at home. Adam Tudhope took managing whom Rice-Oxley met and became friends with at University. Tudhope is also involved in film production through his company, White House Pictures and has contributed to some English films such as Love Actually. The band composed a song for the film, but it was not used.

In an interview with The Irish Times on June 2, 2006, Rice-Oxley was quoted as saying that the band had originally been named Coldplay, but he later denied that he ever made the comment to the interviewer.

After listening to Rice-Oxley's piano playing, during a weekend at Virginia Water, Surrey in 1997, Chris Martin invited him to join the early Coldplay. However, Rice-Oxley declined because he did not want to leave Keane, stating "I was seriously interested, but Keane were already operational and Coldplay's keyboard player idea was dropped." Due to Martin's offer, and although Hughes and Scott were originally opposed to it, Chaplin joined the band in 1997, taking Rice-Oxley's place as vocalist and adding himself as the acoustic guitarist. Chaplin's recruitment also marked a change of name from The Lotus Eaters to Cherry Keane, after a friend of Chaplin's mother, whom Rice-Oxley and Chaplin knew when they were young. At her death due to cancer, she had left money for Chaplin's family. Chaplin commented "I used some of the money to see me through the harder times with the music." The name was shortened to Keane soon afterwards.
Chaplin departed for South Africa in summer 1997 to work as a volunteer during his gap year. Chaplin's early experiences there would later be reflected in the band's position for the Make Poverty History campaign. Returning a year later on July 3, 1998, Hughes's first words when the band picked up Chaplin at the airport were "We've got a gig in ten days." With original material, Keane made their debut live appearance at the "Hope & Anchor" pub on July 13, 1998. As commented on by Rice-Oxley, though the band's music included guitar their sound was "epic and dreamlike", distinguishing the band from others. After this gig, throughout 1998 and 1999 the band performed on London's pub gig circuit. In 1998, Chaplin went to Edinburgh University to study for a degree in art history. However, he later quit his degree and moved to London, in order to pursue a full-time musical career with his friends.

Early releases and Scott's departure:
In late 1999, and without a record deal, Keane recorded their first promotional single, "Call Me What You Like". Released on CD format through Keane's own label, Zoomorphic, it was sold after the gigs at the pubs where Keane used to play during February 2000. Only five hundred copies were printed.] The tracks, however, can now be found on the internet.

The band members have declared they are not against fans sharing tracks that are unreleased on CD, such as the "More Matey" and "Emily" demo tracks. Chaplin has commented "they most likely see those recordings as an interesting extra to get hold of - I don't see it causing any damage. If it was the album we have coming out leaked early (Under the Iron Sea) then I'd probably feel differently." The EP was reviewed by Ben Rodwell from eFestivals who listed "Closer Now" as the best song of the record - one that is particularly enjoyed by fans today.

Four months after the "Call Me What You Like" re-recording session in February 2001, their second single, "Wolf at the Door" was released. Only fifty hand-made copies are known to have been made, using unlabelled CD-Rs. Both singles are considered highly valuable collectors' items by fans. In particular, "Wolf at the Door" has been known to be sold for over 1000 on eBay.
Due to the limited success Keane had at this time, Scott decided to leave the group a month after this single was released in order to continue his studies at the LSE. Before this, in November 2000, Keane were invited by record producer James Sanger to his recording studio at Les Essarts, France, where the band recorded a number of tracks from August to November 2001, including "Bedshaped" and "This Is the Last Time". It was during these sessions that the idea of using a piano as lead instrument began to emerge. Sanger received a shared credit for four songs that appeared on Keane's debut album Hopes and Fears, including the song "Sunshine", the only one composed there.
Sanger has been referred to as a key point in shaping Keane's future sound during the Hopes and Fears era.

The remaining members of the band returned to England in November 2001. Soon after, they signed to BMG to publish their music, but at this time they did not have yet a recording contract. 2002 was a hard year for Keane. All recording or live performances were stopped and Scott's feeling of going nowhere was starting to emerge in Rice-Oxley and Chaplin as they stood at home smoking and listening to records.
In December 2002, Keane returned to performing live. Luckily, one gig at the Betsey Trotwood in London was attended by Simon Williams of Fierce Panda Records, the same man who had discovered Coldplay years previously. Williams offered to release the first commercial single by the band. This release would be "Everybodys Changing", which Steve Lamacq went on to name single of the week on Lamacq Live on April 19, 2003; the CD Single was released on May 12, 2003.

As a result of the attention created by this release, a bidding war for the band ensued between major labels, with the band deciding to sign with Island Records in summer 2003. The band released "This Is the Last Time" on Fierce Panda, in October 2003, as the final release on that label.

Hopes and Fears:
With the release of their first major single, Keane began to achieve recognition in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (U.S.), where "This Is the Last Time" was released and remained as the only single sold there until "Crystal Ball" in late 2006. In January 2004, Keane was named the band most likely to achieve success in the coming year in the BBC's annual Sound of Music poll; additionally, this year is popularly referred to as one of the best years for new British music.

A month later, Keane's first release on Island was "Somewhere Only We Know", which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart in February 2004. On May 4, a re-release of "Everybodys Changing" followed and featured new cover and b-sides; it reached number four in the UK Singles Chart.

Keane's debut album, Hopes and Fears, was released on May 10, 2004 in the UK, just a day before the band started their first world tour. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and went on to become the second-biggest selling album of the year in the UK, only losing the top spot to Scissor Sisters on the last day of the year.

The album has sold approximately five and a half million copies worldwide. In the UK, it stayed in the top 75 of the UK Albums Chart for 72 weeks, appearing again on its 115th week.

The band won two awards at the 2005 BRIT Awards in February; Best British album for Hopes and Fears and the British breakthrough act award, as voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1, defeating bands such as Muse or Franz Ferdinand. Three months after, Rice-Oxley received the Ivor Novello award for songwriter of the year.

As members of the Make Poverty History foundation, Keane performed "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Bedshaped" at the Live 8 concert, which took place in London on July 2, 2005. Keane are also patrons of War Child, and in September 2005, they recorded a cover version of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" to the charity album Help: a Day in the Life. Previously, the band also had recorded a cover of the Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore", which was available as a download-only track from the War Child website. It was later released as a 7" single as a gift to members of the Keane e-mailing list.
As the 1985 version, Band Aid (now called Band Aid 20) recorded a new version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Rice-Oxley and Chaplin both contributed vocals.
During the year, the band achieved minor recognition in the U.S. due to their extensive touring, which culminated with a series of gigs as the opening act for U2. The group were also nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Artist category along with Sugarland, John Legend, Ciara, and Fall Out Boy, but ultimately lost out to Legend.

Under the Iron Sea:
In April 2005, in the middle of the Hopes and Fears Tour, the band began recording their second album, Under the Iron Sea with producer Andy Green, who also worked with them previously on Hopes and Fears and they later recruited Mark "Spike" Stent for mixing duties. Recording took place in Helioscentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex, where Hopes and Fears was recorded. Additional recording was done at The Magic Shop Studios in New York City. The band revealed the title of the album on March 14, 2006 by posting a handwritten note on their official website.
Drawing style differences from their previous album, Under the Iron Sea takes its name from the eighth track and third single "Crystal Ball", in which "under the iron sea" is a lyric. Following a fairytale-oriented style, drawings representing every song on the album are on the box of the CD+DVD version. This has been described by the band as a "sinister fairytale-world-gone-wrong".

The album's release was preceded by the release of "Atlantic", a download-only music video and the lead single "Is It Any Wonder?", which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart. The album had a worldwide release date of June 12, 2006 (see the album's article for exceptions), and was at number 1 in the UK Albums Chart for the first two weeks of its release. As of May 22, 2007, it had sold more than 2,200,000 copies. The album has met with critical acclaim, with press referring to it as "dark and heavy", and commenting that it may attract a new, wider audience.

The third single from the album was "Crystal Ball", with Chaplin describing it as "one the catchiest and memorable songs on the record". The single was released on August 21, 2006, reaching number 20 in the UK singles charts.

Even before the release of the album (in May 2006), Keane had started their second world tour that would promote the album. However, due to the extensive touring, on August 22, 2006, Chaplin announced he had admitted himself to a clinic for drinking and drug problems. This initially resulted in the cancellation of three gigs and postponement of their September US tour. The entire North American tour was later cancelled outright to allow continued treatment. As a result, the upcoming UK and European tours - scheduled for October and November 2006 - were considered to be liable for possible postponement depending on Chaplin's treatment. Chaplin left the Priory Clinic in London on October 6, but to date he is still receiving treatment.
In early October, Concert Live announced they were releasing a limited edition 10-CD set (1000 per concert) of every Keane live performance during 2006 in the UK under the name Keane Live 06.
The fourth single from Under the Iron Sea was "Nothing in My Way", released on October 30, 2006, which received particular success on Mexican commercial radio, charting on Top 3 in January 13, 2007 and staying a month on that chart.

In late October 2006, Rice-Oxley collaborated with Gwen Stefani as a co-writer of the song "Early Winter" which appears on her second album, The Sweet Escape, as well as two more tracks. Stefani had been wishing to work with the band since 2005 and Rice-Oxley responded by saying "we might give it a go".[24]

Following the success of the UK Under the Iron Sea Tour, in late 2006, the band announced another string of dates for February and March 2007. This tour would visit all of the UK's major indoor arenas, with two nights at the iconic Wembley. This leg of the tour saw the band incorporate a b-stage in the middle of the crowd where a brief acoustic set was performed. This idea has been used by The Rolling Stones for the last decade. The tour reached for the first time South American countries (Argentina, Chile and Brazil) and saw the band's third visit to Mexico in late April with four dates, playing at the downtown zcalo in Mexico City, as well their first visit to Monterrey and Guadalajara.

On July 7, 2007, Keane played at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, part of a series of gigs similar to Live 8, to highlight the threat of global warming. They performed "Somewhere Only We Know", "Is It Any Wonder?" and "Bedshaped".
Keane were due to play in the Welsh Fflam festival on the 13 July, but the event was postponed and later cancelled.
They played in "The Point" theatre, Dublin, on July 19 to a packed out audience, giving credit to Dominic Scotts' previous involvement and also had Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy recite a W.B.Yeats poem 'An Irish Airman Forsees His Death', upon which "Bad Dream" is based. The final concert in Britain took place on July 21, 2007, in the O2 Dome with the biggest crowds they have played to. The performance was filmed, and will be made into a DVD release around Christmas. The Under The Iron Sea tour was brought to an end with performances in Oporto, Portugal, and at the Natural Music Festival in El Ejido, Spain, on the 3rd and 4 August respectively.

Third studio album:
Although the band have not confirmed the production of their third studio album, Chaplin has revealed that they have written around fifteen new songs for their next album. Chaplin also revealed in an interview with Q Magazine that there will be more communication between band members during production of a third album, avoiding the issues surrounding the making of Under The Iron Sea.

In a March 2007 video interview, Chaplin and Hughes spoke of wanting to take a more "organic" approach on album three, but played down guitar suggestions, referring to it as "a fun part of the live set" at present; however, their cover of "She Sells Sanctuary", became the first song recorded since "The Happy Soldier" (2001) including the instrument.
The band have announced plans to release the single "The Night Sky" in aid of the charity War Child. The song is written from the perspective of a child about the war-torn devastation around them. It will be available via warchildmusic.com on October 22 before going on general release on October 29.

Musical style and themes:
Tim Rice-Oxley and Dominic Scott were the main writers of the band's songs during their early years. When Scott left in 2001, Rice-Oxley became the main composer. However, Rice-Oxley credits the rest of the band on all compositions, so that royalties for song credits are shared.
Keane have cited bands such as The Beatles, U2, Oasis, R.E.M., The Smiths, Radiohead, Queen, Marty Wilde, Pet Shop Boys and Paul Simon as influences. The band has been known as "the band with no guitars", due to its heavily piano-based sound. By using delay and distortion effects on their piano sound, they often create sounds that aren't immediately recognisable as piano. Rice-Oxley said during an interview in Los Angeles that they tend to think piano-related music is boring and what they really wanted to do was try something different. He referred to the piano as an odd instrument to form part of a rock band instrumentation, comparing it to The Beatles' set of instruments. Rice-Oxley's aforementioned distortion piano has set most of Keane's multifaceted style, varying from hip-hop on "Dirtylicious" to house on "Tyderian".

During their early years most songs were about love or broken relationships (most notably "She Has No Time" and "On a Day Like Today"). However, other themes including the relationship between Rice-Oxley and Chaplin have emerged in more recent compositions. Other themes have been explored; for example, "Is It Any Wonder?" and "A Bad Dream" are both about war.

Criticism:
Due to the piano-based music and the alternative sound of the debut album, critics first regarded Keane as Coldplay imitators; the media however, in supporting Keane, started calling them the "new Coldplay", with reference to their recent commercial success. Newer bands such as Morning Runner and The Fray have been compared to both Keane and Coldplay for the piano-oriented sound of their music.

Notable feuds with other artists were held with The Darkness, The Libertines, James Blunt and Oasis; Noel Gallagher famously dismissed them saying "Traditionally speaking, the three biggest twats in any band are the singer, the keyboardist and the drummer. I don't need to say anything else." Keane have however stated that they have never had a feud with The Darkness or The Libertines and the story was misinterpreted by the media. Chaplin even met ex-Libertine Pete Doherty in rehab, also when he was interviewed in Q magazine; there is a photo of ex-Darkness member Justin Hawkins hugging him. [As featured in May 2007's issue.]

Live and studio instrumentation:
After Scott departed, Rice-Oxley started using a Yamaha CP-70 piano, a quality instrument especially designed for touring that he read about in a Beatles book written by their producer, George Martin. A Nord Lead 3 synthesizer is currently used to play solos and located during the gigs on the top of the main piano. Main instrumentation includes:

* Yamaha CP-70 electric piano
* Fender Rhodes electric piano
* Hammond organ
* Clavia Nord Lead 3 synthesizer
* Yamaha S90 ES
* Various synthesizers
* Fender basses
* Yamaha Drums

Rice-Oxley's PowerBook G4 is used to play back pre-recorded bass tracks during live performances. The computer software includes an electronic click-track transmitted wirelessly to the three members' Sennheiser earphones to aid accurate playback. It also controls the extra synthesizer sections that would be impossible to play live with the current line-up. In October 2004, when "Hamburg Song" and "Nothing in My Way" debuted, Chaplin played a Hammond MK2 organ, having played no instrument in the live band since 2001. Following this, in 2006 he started to play a distorted CP60 (an upright version of the Yamaha CP70) for some songs like "The Frog Prince" and "Crystal Ball". Recently they have been using a Yamaha S90ES for their on-stage piano and Rhodes sounds.

Since October 2006's UK tour, Chaplin has also played acoustic guitar during gigs, particularly during "Your Eyes Open" which was performed in an acoustic set-up. For the band's Christmas in-store gig at the Apple Store in London's Regent Street on December 12, 2006, this was expanded to include the songs "A Bad Dream" and "Is It Any Wonder?". During this performance, Rice-Oxley also played a bass guitar live to accompany "This Is the Last Time", while Chaplin took the lead performing a new piano arrangement of the song on the CP-70. The band have often claimed that this is to put something different into live tracks. They have ensured it will not be permanent either.

Members:
* Tim Rice-Oxley piano, keyboards, bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (before 1997)
* Tom Chaplin lead vocals, live keyboards, organ, acoustic guitar (before 2003)
* Richard Hughes drums, live backing vocals
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