In 2022 it will be 25 years since Groove Armada debuted, going on to become one of the most successful dance acts of the time, and maintaining their position as an influential force ever since. Over two decades of prolific productions and tireless touring they’ve proved that it’s possible to daringly explore a multitude of sounds while achieving critical and commercial success. From the dancehall dub of ‘Superstylin’’ to the crossover pop appeal of ‘Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)’ and from the dancefloor-igniting ‘I See You Baby’ to the woozy sunset vibes of ‘At The River’, Groove Armada have consistently and uncompromisingly followed their own vision. Each one of those cuts stands alone as a certified classic, revered in the dance music hall of fame for their timeless appeal.
Now the stage is set for an almighty celebration as Groove Armada approach a huge milestone and prepare to mark the anniversary with a return to the road, and plenty of music. Over 25 years the duo have done it all, from huge outdoor performances to intimate parties, traveling the world, delivering their diverse dance floor-focused sound to raucous crowds on every continent. Despite their extensive list of achievements, there’s still plenty of motivation to have another huge party and go the extra mile to make GA25 one to remember, for fans new and old.
The duo - Tom Findlay and Andy Cato - first met in London back in the nineties and their combined talent took them to the highest of heights: three UK Top 10 albums; three Grammy nominations; a BRIT nomination; and a succession of hit singles that are still being discovered by new fans to this day. Despite having formed a quarter-of-a-century before streaming exploded, they still command the attention of over 2.3million monthly listeners on Spotify, demonstrating their cross-generational appeal. They’ve also collaborated with or remixed countless high-profile artists, notably Madonna, Paul Simon, Fatboy Slim, Calvin Harris, Neneh Cherry and Bryan Ferry.
And that’s all before you consider their exhilarating, life-affirming live show. Way back in an era when dance acts typically blended synths and DJing with striking visuals, Groove Armada focused on ensuring every element of the sound was as live as possible. It paid off in style with unforgettable scenes at Glastonbury, a five-night run at Brixton Academy (accompanied by Tom’s hero Richie Havens) and shows everywhere from Moscow to Sydney. In 2012 their live band went on a hiatus, though the duo maintained a presence on the DJ circuit. Six years later they rolled out a small run of live band gigs, with a very limited series of shows in London, Manchester Bristol and Glasgow. Tom and Andy were bitten by the bug again and the live show family reunited with a reinvigorated energy. In 2019 highlights included filling London’s Old Royal Naval College and headlining festivals such as Wilderness, Beat-Herder and Boomtown, plus a wider run of shows to celebrate the release of their LP Edge Of The Horizon.
Studio-wise their creativity has been abundant, with 11 LPs released over the course of their 25-year-long career. Most recently they dropped Edge Of The Horizon in 2020, an 11-track collection of sounds that traverse their eclectic tastes while keeping true to their inherent sound. Hints of the eighties come through loud and clear, while the production levels and ingenuity reflect the duo’s years in the game. Mature yet full of party energy, with positivity flowing through every track. The album was accompanied by a successful tour, marking their unstoppable run as one of the UK’s most popular dance music acts.
Groove Armada first gained traction on the underground by hosting their eclectic party Captain Sensual at the Helm of the Groove Armada. That connection was cemented when Tom would work on beats in Andy’s makeshift studio in the backstreets of Clapham. But when the duo spent a week together writing in a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, they returned with what would become their debut album, Northern Star. It featured ‘At The River’, a song which fate seemed to play a part in creating. They discovered its insistent Patti Page sample on a CD they grabbed from a bargain bin in the village shop: a stroll to pick up beer and waffles that inadvertently guided them towards their future.
What followed was what Tom describes as “a continuous state of mayhem.” Their second album, 1999’s Vertigo, sold a million copies with the help of the reissued ‘At The River’ and the Manumission-inspired strut of ‘I See You Baby’. That chaos became their day-to-day reality. Featuring the signature classics ‘Superstylin’’ and ‘My Friend’, the 2001 album Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) became their highest charting UK album and made them stars down under. 2002’s Lovebox inspired their launch of London’s world-renowned festival, and Soundboy Rock took them back to the upper reaches of the single and album charts in 2007.
The Grammy-nominated Black Light and White Light followed in 2010, while the duo continued to push boundaries with the sprawling album/mixtape/remix package Little Black Book in 2015. 2019’s ‘Twenty One’ boxset delivered an essential package for hardcore fans and a primer for newcomers. What’s more it featured new tracks which showed that they’ve lost none of their genre-splicing ingenuity.