Puressence are unique. The voice of lead singer James Mudrizcki
has to be heard to be believed; haunting and emotional with a Manchester
accent - its a tradegy they haven't yet scored massive commercial
success! Although it is mainly
James' amazing voice that wins many rave reviews for Puressence,
do not be fooled - the music is just as emotional too.
City fans James Mudriczki, Neil McDonald,
Anthony Szuminski and United fan Kevin Matthews met on a bus on
their way to watch the Stone Roses play at Spike Island. None of
them had tickets so they had to climb over a fence to get a taste
of the magic atmosphere! Kevin watched the Roses' Mani play bass
with such panache that he immediately rushed out afterwards and
bought a bass guitar himself.
The rest of the lads (who by this
time had very little musical experience) followed suit and bought
the necessary equipment to complete a band. It was decided when
choosing roles that James should sing (a decision that has since
proved fruitful!). Neil took guitar and Anthony drums.
Through much practice their music
developed and they decided on the name 'Puressence' – a name
instantly identified by most Mancunians for the paper letters 'P'-'U'-'R'-'E'-'S'-'S'-'E'-'N'-'C'-'E'
which were notoriously plastered around Manchester city centre,
on derelict buildings and on bridges (the most famous being the
railway bridge opposite the Hacienda!).
lazy shadows on the charts
Puressence released the double a-side
single 'Siamese/Scapa Flow' on the Rough Trade label in June 1992
before moving to Manchester indie recording label, Too Damn Loud,
where they put out the 'Petrol Skin EP' and 'Offshore'. All three
releases failed to chart however won the group a contract with Island
In May 1995, the band released the
'I Suppose' single on Island without chart success. A few months
later they returned with the 'Fire' single, which again failed to
sell. The tracks though did herald Puressence's self-titled debut
album, which won rave reviews and was often compared to Radiohead
and early U2 on its release in April 1996.
The album also produced 3 more non-charting
singles, 'India', 'Traffic Jam In Memory Lane' and ' 'Casting Lazy
Shadows', highlighting Island Records belief and perserverance in
their new found Manc act (the album only contained ten tracks of
which they had released five as singles).
When the single 'This Feeling' reached
number 33 in May 1998, it looked like Puressence were going to enjoy
deserved chart success with their second album. Amazingly though,
the truely amazing 'Only Forever' failed to make an impact, reaching
only UK no.36.
The album displayed a clear shift
in Puressence's style and should have brought them the chart success
the band so deserved. It captured the group in a more positive,
lighter, chart-friendly mood, achieving astounding, often anthemic
results. Mani, the master of good-time music himself, appeared as
producer on the brilliant single 'Standing In Your Shadow'. He has
been a big fan of Puressence since their early days (he is also
from Failsworth, Manchester). Not many young bands can claim to
have their idol play a pro-active part in shaping their success!
The tracks 'All I Want' (UK no.39)
and 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore' (did not chart) were also released
as singles, proving the success they enjoyed in Greece and Japan
could not be transferred to the UK.
In October 2002, Puressence returned
better than ever with the brilliant single 'Walking Dead', which
took a swipe at Londoners with lyrics like ''don't wasre your time
on the Kingston Line... you're the walking dead now'' . The video
was 110% Manc, starring the band together with Mani (The Stone Roses),
Bez (Happy Mondays) and Manchester United impersonator Karl Powers
cruising round the streets of Manchester in an old Ford Cortina.
The track 'Moss Side Lonely' was also included on the CD single
which just scraped into the final place of the UK Top 40.
'Planet Helpless' followed and was
clearly the band's greatest album yet, and arguably one of the best
from any band to come out of Mancheste. Even lead singer, James,
went confidently on record to say so too...
album is like 15-20 years of all the different facets of Manchester
music - the acid house scene, the Roses, the Mondays, even Joy Division
- all rolled into the fuckin' present day 2002." -
Despite the album failing to chart
in the UK, it did enjoy success in Greece (No.4 in the album charts)
and heralded a number of gigs, mainly in Manchester.
Perhaps the lack of chart success
and exposure the album deserved, lead to the band sacking their
manager and choosing to leave Island Records in February 2002. They
decided to go it alone, a very brave gamble that will hopefully
Puressence remain Manchester's best
kept secret but surely they must hit the jackpot soon!?! Bands this
good deserve success! [back to top]