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Wombats, the

Category: Musician or composer

Matthew is in the centre

The Wombats are an English indie rock band formed in Liverpool. The band comprises native Liverpudlians Matthew Murphy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard), Daniel (Dan) Haggis (drums, percussion, keyboard and backing vocals) and Norwegian-born Tord Øverland Knudsen (bass guitar, guitar, keyboard and backing vocals). The band is signed to 14th Floor Records in the United Kingdom and Bright Antenna in the United States.

Matthew 'Murph' Murphy attended Liverpool College, then moved on to LIPA. The three band members met in 2003 at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts; soon becoming friends. Over the course of 2004 to 2005 the band released many EPs such as "The Hangover Sessions", "No.3" and "The Daring Adventures of Sgt. Wimbo and His Pet Otter". In 2006, the band released their debut album Girls, Boys and Marsupials which was only available as a release in Japan.

a left hander who knows his symbolism - eh Matthew?

In January 2007, the band released a second limited edition vinyl called Moving to New York, then in May of that year they released a third single entitled "Backfire at the Disco", which reached number 35 in the UK Singles Chart.

This was followed by then band's first full single "Kill the Director" in late July. Their debut album, entitled A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, coincided with the release of "Let's Dance to Joy Division" in October 2007, and peaked at number 11 in the UK Albums Chart. It was followed by a European tour ending with a thanksgiving party at Liverpool Academy.

The band started 2008 as the opening act at the opening ceremony of Liverpool, European Capital of Culture at Liverpool Arena. "Moving to New York" was re-released on 14 January 2008 and reached number 13 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming their highest charting release to date.

 

But the principle reason that the Wombats are on the site is the words from Anti-D, the first single from the Wombats' album, This Modern Glitch, released in April 2011.

This song describes in vivid detail the battle that Matthew has had with depression, and the citalopram he was prescribed to treat it.  The anti-depressant was not a great success and Matthew had to then wean himself off the drug – a none too easy task.  Despite the terrible time he had recovering from the drug his doctors prescribed, he is remarkably stoical about the process, saying that  "Although depression and anxiety are horrendous, they have shaped me as a person. And maybe I wouldn't want to write songs if I wasn't like this."

It is fairly clear from the video, however, that Matthew is none too enamoured of the doctors who prescribed the drug for him. In the video for Anti-D, Murphy walks along a suburban street, oblivious to everything going on around him, then is beaten up by some doctors.

Matthew has since stated he will never go back on those drugs and has worked out a programme to help him recover using more benign forms of therapy :

 

"I felt like it was never going to get better and I would always feel like that. But whether your brain isn't producing enough serotonin or whatever, at some point you will. And having something like music, writing or swimming can … relieve your problems. If I didn't have songs I'd probably explode."

Therapy has also been key to his recovery: "The psychotherapist I am seeing now is incredible, and has helped me more than anything else."  A therapist and not a psychologist or doctor - note.

 On 28 February 2008 the band was awarded 'Best Dancefloor Filler' for their single "Let's Dance To Joy Division" at the NME Awards

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