There was a heart-on-sleeve immediacy to the indie rock of Officer Kicks, a southeast London quartet formed by school friends Jamie Scallion on vocals, Jamie Fisher on guitar, Keith Wickham on drums, and Michael Skorjanec on bass.
Changing their name from Mogul in 2005, the band undertook recording sessions that same year with Jan "Stan" Kybert, an established producer and engineer who had previously worked with Paul Weller, Oasis, and New Order, amongst others. While their first gig under the Officer Kicks name took place in Dalston, London that December, a single recorded at the Kybert sessions was prepared for release on Redemption Records and the band spent much of 2006 and 2007 touring the country. Critics likened their simultaneously down to earth and entertaining approach to live performance to that of Kings of Leon and Kasabian, as opposed to the jagged indie of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party.
Released in 2008, their self-funded debut, The Six Grand Plot, was recorded at Noel Gallagher's privately owned Wheeler End studios in leafy Buckinghamshire, featured the riff-filled single "Pictures of Me," and was promoted by a tour that included dates with fellow Londoners the Hoosiers. By spring of the following year, Officer Kicks had completed initial sessions for another album, this time at Soho's Dean St. Studios, and the band went on to raise their profile further that summer on a tour of Ireland with Dublin's the Script. The heavier riffs and darker themes of the newer songs introduced to their set that year lent themselves well to an extensive October U.K. tour with Juliette Lewis & the Licks. Their Alexander Wolfe-produced second album, Citywide Curfew, appeared in April 2010 and featured the singles "The Kraken" and "Automatic." With the band on hiatus from 2011 onward, Scallion gathered the writing that he had undertaken during downtime on the previous years' tours and prepared the first volume of a novel for young adults entitled, The Rock 'n' Roll Diaries: Making It. Telling the story of a fictional, school-formed rock band called "the RockAteers", the book was published in late 2013. ~ James Wilkinson, Rovi
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