Spygenius frontman and songwriter Peter Watts got his start in the 80s as the lead singer with the Murrumbidgee Whalers, whose jangle-pop classic "Giving Way to Trains" has recently been re-released on the Cherry Red C88 compilation. The 21st century saw the Watts moving on to create Spygenius, a classic British four piece pop-combo based in Canterbury and South London, who have built upon and extended that musical legacy. Ruth Rogers (bass), Matt Byrne (keys) and Alan Cannings (drums) complete the line-up - and everybody sings. Their music has echoes of all those classic 60s ‘B’ bands – Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, Bonzos. But it equally resonates with college-radio darlings of later generations like XTC, the Smiths, Robyn Hitchcock, REM. There’s a lot of musical bric-a-brac in there too – souvenirs from surf and psych, folk and exotica, lounge and blues, rock and roll. The songs are carefully crafted: memorable melodies, heavenly harmonies, gorgeous guitars, perfect percussion, bitchin’ bass and kinky keyboards abound.
Since 2008 Spygenius have released four albums in the UK, each noted for their complex lyrics, as intelligent as they are emotionally charged: sometimes witty, sometimes painful, sometimes insightful, sometimes just nonsensical – always delightful and engaging. A new US release of their most recent album – the highly praised ‘Pacéphale – is imminent on the Big Stir label, to be followed by a new album in 2018. For the last couple of years Spygenius have been working with the Burbank based Big Stir Collective, and have organized a number of Big Stir Britannia events in the UK. The band is also noted for their visual collaborations with artist and honorary fifth Spygenius, Champniss, which has resulted in a book and a number of animated music videos which perfectly encapsulate the surreal whimsy of their music.