Matt Robinson and John Mullaney first began writing music together during their sixth form, but it wasn’t until1999 that they formed Last Picture Show. Joined on cello by Thom Hammond, John (guitars) and Matt (vocals & pianos) recorded their eponymously titled 4 track EP the same year. Rhythmically sparse but emotionally driven, tracks such as ‘Only the Rain’ and ‘Tsunami’ showcased a love of atmospheric melancholy, drawing on influences such as Tori Amos, Puressence and Jeff Buckley.
As housemates, John and Matt continued to write material together, honing Matt’s piano-led songs into cinematic sounding arrangements with big ambitions. In 2001 they enlisted the help of former respective bandmates Jon Wilkinson (bass) and Dave Birch (drums) to record the ‘Fire Underwater EP’. The addition of a rhythm section added a rockier dynamic to their recordings, particularly evident on the 2 minute instrumental “Broken Wave”. Tasting bigger possibilities, the bandmates acquired a home studio and with the assistance of sound engineer Bryan Southworth-Turner, began experimenting with programmed drums and ambitiously layered instrumentation. The first fruits of this new process was an interpretation of Feeder’s ‘Moonshine’ which was selected as the closing track on the Place Inside Our Minds tribute album to drummer Jon Lee (2003). “Accomplished and the strongest performance of the CD”, said one review.
In 2004, Matt’s day job as an actor found him performing a solo set of LPS material at a US convention and a year later the band were invited to appear at Atlanta’s ‘DragonCon’ event. Although they had played a handful of intimate gigs in their hometown of Reading, the duo now found themselves performing to a capacity crowd of 4,000 people. Immediately connecting with a new-found US audience, the performance also served to promote their first LP ‘Undertow’. Released through the US label Terrestrial Media, the album compiled both previous EP’s, plus two new tracks ‘Til The End’ and ‘Stay Gold’.
In 2006, LPS returned to DragonCon to promote the release of their debut album ‘Against The Current’. Reminiscent of U2 and Coldplay’s most anthemic moments, the album established the band’s sound as being a cohesive fusion of elements; arena-sized rock with ‘In The Jar’ and ‘Tanks’, drum’n’bass driven riffs on ‘Sky’ and the ambient space-rock of ‘Rise’.
In 2008 John and Matt recruited permanent drummer Gareth Cooper and showcased his heavyweight talents by performing back at the Rising Sun – the same venue that had witnessed the band’s earliest gigs in 2000. Gaz’s muscular drumming style enabled the band to finally realise the dynamic rock sound they had always been striving towards and in 2009 the 3-piece returned to the studio to record the material from recent rehearsals.
The ‘Breaking The Cages EP’ was released in early 2011. ‘Planets’ revealed an emotional maturity of sound reminiscent of some of Snow Patrol’s best material. But it was tracks such as ‘Static’, ‘Break In the Clouds’ and ‘Head In The Sand’ that demonstrated a unique radio-friendly edginess. All of the tracks on the EP were remixed by renowned Devon-based producer Mumbleman and Staffordshire’s National Trevor.
Between 2012 and 2013, the band focused on instrumental work recording the epic ‘Firestorm’ and ‘Stormcoming’, before undertaking their first fully fledged soundtrack in 2014 to the short film ‘APC cutaway’.
They continue to write and record both vocal-led tracks and instrumentals for film & TV.