This UK ‘guerrilla rock’ band is dominated by the imposing figure of Dominic Masters (b. Somerset, England), lead singer, main spokesperson and, most frequently, the subject matter of the Others’ songs. Formed at the start of the new millennium by Masters, Jimmy Lager (guitar), Johnny Others (bass) and Martin Oldham (drums), the band built up a cult following through constant touring and so-called ‘guerrilla gigs’, which included sets played on a London Underground train, in the middle of a busy ring road, and in Masters’ one-bedroom London flat. The quartet’s loyal fanbase, dubbed ‘the 853 Kamikaze Stage Diving Division’, helped promote the Others beyond the London independent circuit, although the band’s close association with hip UK band the Libertines undoubtedly helped as well. The Others’ cause was further boosted when UK music industry veteran Alan McGee (the man who discovered Oasis) was recruited as their manager. McGee signed the band to his Poptones label and helped them land a major contract with the Vertigo division of Mercury Records at the start of 2004.
The Others’ debut single, ‘This Is For The Poor’, was released the same May. Detailing Masters’ troubled childhood and adolescence, the single was hailed in certain, excitable quarters of the UK press as the defining UK rock moment of the year. In reality, the quartet’s rudimentary grasp of post-punk dynamics failed to come across as effectively on a studio recording as it did on their admittedly thrilling live sets. The follow-up, ‘Stan Bowles’, named after a maverick soccer player who played for the London-based QPR team in the 70s, attracted further notoriety with lyrics about the troubled Peter Doherty of the Libertines. Another underdog anthem ‘Lackey’ preceded the release of the Others’ self-titled debut album in January 2005. The album was heavily criticised in the UK music press and the band quickly parted company with Poptones. Their second album, Inward Parts, was released on the Lime Records label in late 2006.