Brown Owl were a band from Leeds 6 formed around 2002 that had grown from the ashes of Diesel Vs Steam - who I believe were the first band I saw at a DIY gig in Leeds - and who in turn had grown out of the ashes of significant British hardcore figures Baby Harp Seal and Bob Tilton. Raine played guitar and Mark Simms played drums which took a bit of getting used to as he was better known as a bass player. Instead a young Jon Nash took up the bass duties who I had previously seen in Mogwai-ish post-rock band Weedon and then The Dragon Rapide with ex-members of Kito. Brown Owl would certainly be a big node on any underground rock rhizome.
They played Heroic Doses/The Sorts style afrobeat funk with angular choppy guitar for the indie kids. They got very very good very quickly and despite an all-too-modest demeanour were one of the best bands around at the time. They stopped playing in 2006-ish after Mark moved to Newcastle and then London. Nash still plays in a hundered and one bands, best known of which are Cowtown and fantastic new synthers Runners.
Whilst they were going they appeared on the spilt with Bilge Pump (Obscene Baby Auction) and toured Europe once with Bilge Pump. I'm not sure if they did much UK touring but they certainly played in Leeds most weeks for a period.
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