Gary Briggs and Nat Wason walked into the same Penzance shop, on the same day five years ago, spotted the same Quicksilver Messenger Service album (Happy Trails) and got talking about how neither of them could afford it. They each realised who the other was, and got talking. They talked for hours about quality music, Velvet Underground, Buffalo Springfield and a million other bands who changed each of their lives at the same time. From above, the idea of forming a band was formed. Soon, they were writing together and with bassist Iwan Gronow and drummer Tom Lewis, providing the rhythm section Haven were born. Thank Fuck for that.
The name started as a bit of a joke, Gary recalls, (after an ill fated visit to a holiday camp) but really we did seek refuge in our music and the band became our haven. Corny, yes, but also painfully true.
By 1998, Haven were getting themselves a reputation. Following a tip-off, Joe Moss (The Smiths and, perhaps less impressively, Marions original manager) interrupted his holiday, to check out their rehearsals in a shack on a cliff edge. A bond was quickly formed between the band and Moss, a bond based almost entirely on friendship, rather than any kind of finacial gain for either party.
In Feb 1999, they relocated to Manchester a place which would soon become their adopted home, at first all four sleeping in a room in Joe's house. There, Haven began jamming with Johnny Marr. Yes, Johnny Marr. The Smiths connection was immediately doubled, and Haven have only benefitted from it.
By the end of 2000 - after an extensive tour with Badly Drawn Boy, and an appearance at In The City which had NME frothing: "Blessed with that ineffable ability to make your heart almost burst with an ecstasy of being/unbearable sadness, people will love love Haven as passionately as they do The Smiths and The Stone Roses." - the likes of 'Say Something¹ and 'Still Tonight¹ were already Manc anthems, irresistible moments of heart-fluttering intensity. But more on that Smiths/Roses connection. Haven have all the ingediants to be the next in line to Manchester's family tree, following on from Oasis. The fact that at this early stage of their career they're even being mentioned in the same breath as such luminaries, is testament to thier incredible power and prescence.
2001 began with the release of Haven debut EP, entitled "Til The End" it drew stunning reviews, and was loved by Radio 1 DJ's Whiley and Lamacq who played to death on their respective shows. Haven soon developed a loyal fanbase, who packed out their increasingly stunning live shows.
Summer saw the release of perhaps Haven's most violently arresting song, "Beatiful Thing", it drew increasing radio support from XFM and Virgin.
More nationwide tours followed, including a stunning rescidency at London's famous Water Rats. Haven were now being tipped as potential successers to Coldplay and Starsailor's sensitive rock throne.
"Let It Live" was released in September and became Haven's first Top 75 single.
The future? If they want it, the world's there for Haven's taking.
Elements Of This Story Are Based On The Biog At The Official Haven Site.