Often compared to dark and brooding sounds of such artists as Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, and Morphine, the London quartet Gallon Drunk originally formed in 1990, consisting of members James Johnston (vocals, guitar, organ), Mike Delanian (bass), Max Decharne (drums, also keyboard player with the Earls of Suave), and Joe Byfield (maracas). Shortly after their formation, the quartet began issuing singles on their own label (Massive), most of which reached the top of the independent charts and were selected as Single of the Week in such acclaimed British music publications as NME and Melody Maker. By 1992, Gallon Drunk were ready to begin issuing full-length recordings, including their studio debut You, the Night...& the Music, in addition to a collection of their aforementioned early singles (Tonite...the Singles Bar) and a live set (Peel Sessions: Clawfist). The buzz grew too loud for the major labels to ignore any longer, as Warner Bros. stepped in and signed the group up, issuing From the Heart of Town (including the contribution of new Gallon Drunk horn player Terry Edwards) in 1993. The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize the following year, as the group supported the release with tours of Europe, the U.S., and Japan, in addition to a memorable appearance on Jools Holland's Later TV program.