May 14, 2019
The Delgados special with Emma Pollock in conversation
Their first commercial release came with the inclusion of their track "Liquidation Girl" on the compilation album Skookum Chief Powered Teenage Zit Rock Angst from Nardwuar the Human Serviette. Instead of signing to a record label, the band started their own, Chemikal Underground, on which they released their own records and also some from other local bands, among them Mogwai and Arab Strap. Chemikal Underground's first release was the Delgados first single "Monica Webster / Brand New Car". The single caught the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, and the band quickly became one of his favourites, going on to record seven sessions for his show.
The cost of Chemikal Underground's second release, the single "Disco Nation 45" by Bis, left the cash-strapped label unable to afford another release by the Delgados, so their next release "Lazarwalker" came from the London-based Radar Records. Tempted by Radar to a five-album deal, the band declined, instead poaching their A&R contact, Graeme Beattie, for work at Chemikal Underground.
Another single, "Cinecentre" followed in early 1996 as the band juggled work at the label with several tours, and recorded their debut album. The band released two more singles, this time taken from their album Domestiques released in November 1996. The song "Under Canvas, Under Wraps" being voted number three in John Peel's Festive Fifty that year.
The band released their second album in 1998. Peloton - also a cycling reference. The single "Pull the Wires From the Wall" gave the Delgados their first hit single in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 69. The band's close relationship with Peel continued, with "Pull the Wires From the Wall" voted to number one in the Festive Fifty (it would also make the all time chart made in 2000).
The Delgados' evolution continued with The Great Eastern in 2000. The record was produced by Dave Fridmann. Their next single, "American Trilogy", reached number 61 in the UK chart.
Their fourth album, Hate, was released on Mantra rather than the band's own label. The song "The Light Before We Land" was used as the opening theme for the anime Gunslinger Girl, while the song "Woke From Dreaming" is played at the beginning of episode 7.
The band returned to their own label for 2004's Universal Audio.
The band announced they were splitting up in April 2005 due to the departure of Henderson who found it difficult "to pour so much of my energy and time into something that never quite seemed to get the attention or respect [he] felt it deserved." The four will continue to run Chemikal Underground together. Songwriters Pollock and Woodward are pursuing individual projects, while Savage will continue production duties at the band's Chem19 in a new studio.
Since the band's separation, the track "I Fought the Angels" from Universal Audio has been used in the fourth episode in the second season of the Golden Globe-winning medical drama Grey's Anatomy in 2006, and in the opening scene in the series premiere of BBC Three's Lip Service in 2010.
A double disc containing 29 tracks, The Complete BBC Peel Sessions, was released on 12 June 2006 in Europe, and later in the year in the United States. Woodward released his debut solo album in June 2009 under the name Lord Cut-Glass. Savage also played on the album.