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The Auteurs were an British alternative rock band of the 1990's and a vehicle for the songwriting talents of Luke Haines (guitar, piano and vocals).


Formerly of the band The Servants, Haines created the Auteurs with his then-girlfriend Alice Readman on bass guitar, former classmate Glenn Collins on drums, and James Banbury on cello. Their first single "Showgirl" was praised by the United Kingdommarker music magazine, Melody Maker, and led to the band gaining a recording contract with Hut. The album, New Wave (1993), was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and saw The Auteurs associated with the emerging Britpop genre.

However this association never sat well with Haines who frequently made derogatory remarks about his peers. After New Wave, the band remained on the fringes of the music scene. Their next album Now I'm a Cowboy (1994), built on the themes of New Wave and contained Haines' best known song, "Lenny Valentino". Demonstrating, again, their difference from their musical peers, the band's next release was The Auteurs vs Muziq, Auteurs songs remixed by producer Muziq (aka Michael Paradinas). In interviews at the time Haines claimed he found contemporary techno and house music more interesting than most Britpop bands.

In 1996 The Auteurs released After Murder Park, produced by Steve Albini, and it included "Land Lovers", "Unsolved Child Murder", and "Buddha". The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studiosmarker following a year during which Haines had spent most of his time in a wheelchair after jumping off a wall to avoid the strains of touring. Haines then went on to release an album, based on aspects of the Baader Meinhof terrorist organisation, entitled Baader Meinhof. The last Auteurs record, How I Learned to Love the Bootboys, was released in 1999.

Haines also worked as one third of the art-pop band Black Box Recorder, and in 2001 released the soundtrack album to the film, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, rapidly followed by his first solo album proper, The Oliver Twist Manifesto. 2003 saw him release Das Capital, a collection of re-recorded Auteurs era songs, with a couple of new tracks, apparently intended as closure for that band.

Banbury went on to record an album with Paul Morley under the name Infantjoy, and entitled Where the Night Goes. It features a vocal performance by Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder singing a version of Japan's "Ghosts". An Infantjoy album, With, was released in 2006 with collaborators including Tunng, Isan and Populous.

Several bands influenced by the Auteurs have taken their names from the band's songs. The Polishmarker band Lenny Valentino took its name from The Auteurs' song on their album Now I'm a Cowboy and the Minneapolismarker based band, Valet, took its name from the song "Valet Parking" from New Wave.

In January 2009, Haines released a book entitled Bad Vibes, which serves dually as an autobiographical account of his years with The Auteurs, and as a record of the Britpop movement of the 1990s. Throughout the book, he never refers to Banbury by name, referring to him simply as "the cellist", although he is named in full in the acknowledgements.





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