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Often hard to pin-down and wrongly bundled along their 90's contemporaries, Drugstore have always quietly stood away from the pack, carving their own distinctive micro-universe, populated by lost lovers, misfits and wine-whisperers, glittering under the Drugstore canopy.

Had anyone actually thought about it, Drugstore should have been branded Alt-indie-country - as Isabel’s smoky vocals and pitch-dark lyrical subject matter, coupled with the band’s minimalist, melancholic guitar and string arrangements, stick them firmly in the lovelorn, caustic company of Low, Dusty in Memphis and Leonard Cohen.


Throughout the band's eventful career (although Isabel prefers to describe it as an adventure rather than a professional enterprise),  the band have landed 2x top 50 album charts and a top 20 single.

Drugstore's music nimbly hops over the ages, from 1920s Berlin cabaret through the French chanson tradition, via The Velvet Undergrounds woozy melodic charm and   Tom Waits’bar-room badinage, across PJ Harveys earnest intellect and The Bad Seeds’rumbling, angry melancholia, with an intoxicating mix of heartfelt and carefree disarming vérité.

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The band was formed in 1993 when Isabel Monteiro and american drummer Mike Chylinski got together via a flat-share in East London.
They signed a major deal with GoDiscs having played only a handful of London gigs, at the back of their self-financed 1st single 'Alive'.
Soon after its release, american guitarist Dave Hunter went back to the US, and they were joined by Daron Robinson.

Their 1st self diy single, 'Alive' - released on their own label Honey and with only 500 copies printed on 7' vinyl draw an unprecedented amount of attention, earning the band their first of many 'single of the week' in Melody Maker, Music Week, Q and others - and having performed just a handful of gigs, the band signed a major contract with maverick label GoDiscs! (home of Portishead and Paul Weller).

The band then spent a couple of months at Chipping Norton Studios, recording their first album, 'Drugstore' - which set the band firmly in the heart of indie music lovers everywhere.

The following 3 years were spent on the road, with non-stop tours, both headlining and supporting a number of great bands, like the Tindersticks, the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley - and  playing at all the major festivals in Europe and UK (Glastonbury, T-in-The-Park, Lilith Fair, Reading and many others).

Their 2nd album, 'White Magic for Lovers' was recorded at El Cortijo studio in Spain, run by infamous character Trevor Morais, Bjork's drummer.

The label brought a producer along for the 1st time, Clive Martin, hoping to capture some of the buzz and excitement of Drugstore's live performances.

The album landed the band a top 20 hit, with the single 'El President' - a duet with Radiohead's Thom Yorke - and a tribute to socialist former Chilean President Salvador Allende - whose nationalistic pro-people policies infuriated the CIA, who masterminded the military coup that forced him out-of-office, in order to keep the rich chilean copper resources flowing US way.

The band carried on touring constantly, and travelled to places as far afield as Tromso in the Arctic Pole to deep in the heart of Texas.

Their 3rd album, 'Songs for the Jetset'- recorded at Battery studios in London under 2 weeks, was released by GlobalWarming Records in 2001.

The track "Baby Don't Hurt Yourself" features Paul Niehauss, from Lambchop, on pedal steel.

With sparse, low-key arrangements, creating an atmospheric and seductive vibe, perfect for the intimate smoky vocals of singer-songwriter, Isabel Monteiro, the album was, once again well received by the press, with great reviews from sources as wide as Marie Claire Magazine to The Times newspaper.
And even got a glowing review in the NME, who would, as per tradition, be opposed to whatever was being championed by their mega rivals, the Melody Maker.

In the summer of 2001, while the band were in the middle of promoting the 'Songs for the Jetset' album, to the surprise of band members and dismay of the Record Company, Isabel suddenly decided to 'walk away from it all' and the band, unexpectedly, stopped existing and pretty much disappeared from the planet.

8 years later, In September 2009 the band re-appeared out of nowhere with a sold-out reunion gig at london Dingwalls.

Fuelled by the positive response of the reunion gig and a guitar magically donated by a fan, Isabel started the 'Anatomy - blog' candidly relating the harsh years spent in rock-wilderness and writing material for a new album.

Early in 2010, having realised that it was not going to be possible to run the band with original members now married and/or living abroad, Monteiro announced a new line-up, featuring long-time band friend and collaborator Peter Allinson, with a sold-out gig, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.

In the summer of 2010 the band performed at Glastonbury Festival, for the charity 'Attitude is Everything', and at the Secret Garden Party Festival in Huntingdon.

In October 2010 they signed a one-off record deal with London based indie label RocketGirl.

The band also ran a successful Pledge project, were many loyal fans helped raise funds for the next album.

In January 2011 the band spent 3 weeks at a remote small studio in Platts Eyot, an isolated island in the middle of the river Thames, recording the new album, 'Anatomy', which was released later that summer.

'Anatomy', Drugstore's quietest record yet, with its melancholic, strip-down tones, reflects the songwriter’s sense of isolation and loss.
The album was, once again, well-received by the press, and was recommended 'album of the month' in publications as diverse as HotPress and DrownedinSound.

The track 'Sweet Chili Girl' got a good amount of radioplay, particularly in Germany, where it was playlisted in quite a few radio stations, both indie and mainstream.

In 2012 the band performed outside of London for the first time in over a decade, with packed shows at the Trades Club, in Hebden Bridge, and at the Norwich Arts Centre, in Norwich.

The band returned in Jan 2013 with a sold-out gig at St Pancras Old church in London.

March 2013 the band teams-up with london based label Cherry Red Records, for the upcoming release of a 'Best of' compilation, due out in September 2013.

The album, featuring 20 tracks, will span the band's career, from its humble indie beginnings to the more minimalistic sojourn arrangements of their latest work - and will hopefully give listeners an opportunity to re-discover the beautiful world and music of Drugstore.

Isabel has now started work on new material for yet another album, to be released early in 2014, and she is promising another bunch of sad songs and more tales from the other side.

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*intro originally written by charlie ivens / edited by tina beckman
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Original Line-up:
Mike Chylinski (drums)
Daron Robinson (guitar)
Isabel Monteiro (bass, vox)

also played with the band :
Ian Burdge (cello)
Ollie Krauss (cello)

Matt Aulich (guitar)
Peter Allinson (piano)
Dave Hunter (guitar)


Current line-up:
Peter Allinson (keys)
Isabel Monteiro (bass, vox)
Nils Eyre (guitar, pedal-steel)
Steve Dixon (drums, samples)
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DID YOU KNOW?

Drugs bust-up w/ the Jesus&Mary Chain:
First night on tour, the Reid brothers walked into our dressing room:
'So, wher's the drugs then?'
'Er..., well, we haven't got any drugs, but we've got loads of booze instead, do y'a fancy a glass of wine?'
'Wot?! No foking drugs?! Yr call yerselves Drugstore and you aint got any drugs on you? Wot a joke....
Who booked this foking band?!'
and with that, they walked away.

Drugstore rejects Thom Yorke vocals? Nah...
But I'm affraid we did - please Lord forgive - but we kinda had to:
Thom comes into the studio to put his vocals down on El President - but he does it an octave lower than what we were hoping for - but no one dared say a word - so he goes home thinking: 'job done'.
But later on that evening, I just couldn't stop thinking about it, how the song was begging for him to sing it an octave higher - so I took a deep breath and decided to make a pretty tough call:
'Er, Thom, er, you know, like, er, your voice, er, is like..., you know.., pretty amazing right? I was just wondering if we could try it an octave higher, like a crazed-up piercing angel, humanity squeal kinda thing? wot d'ya reckon?'
He was totally cool about it:
'Yeah sure, I'll pop back in the studio tomorrow and have a go - no problem.'
a real star.
And we are so grateful he did.
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Drugstore's music has been featured on four movie soundtracks -
'Superglider' is used on All Over Me, and also on House of America.
'Fader' is featured on the film Cherry Falls.
'Old Shoes', originally written by Tom Waits, from the album Step Right Up - the songs of Tom Waits, is used in the film East of Sunset.
The band's music was also featured throughtout the BBC series This LIfe, whose music producer was none other than Ricky Gervais.
It also appears on the MTV series Daria, and more recently on the Channel4 series Teachers.
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Both original members Daron Robinson and Mike Chylinski got married to beautiful girls and share a variety of household pets.
Daron runs a successful cake-baking business:
( http://www.maisiefantaisie.co.uk/ ) and he is also the proud owner of a brand new baby boy.

Mike Chylinski remains a modern-day Renaissance man, working with lomo photography, creating incidental music for indie films, and he also writes a superb blog on obscure album covers:
(http://longfade.wordpress.com/).
He lives in La with his wife and a few cats.

Isabel remains the ever untamable mare, living in semi-reclusion in her Kew Gardens cave, from where she runs the mighty Drugstore empire
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drugstore biography