The Auteurs

For the website, see The Auteurs (film website).
The Auteurs
Origin London, England
Genres Alternative rock, indie pop, baroque pop
Years active 1991–1999
Labels Hut Records
Associated acts The Servants, Baader Meinhof, Black Box Recorder
Past members Luke Haines
Alice Readman
Glenn Collins
James Banbury
Barney C. Rockford

The Auteurs were a British alternative rock band of the 1990s, and a vehicle for songwriter Luke Haines (guitar, piano and vocals).[1]


Formerly of the band The Servants, Haines created the Auteurs with his then-girlfriend Alice Readman on bass guitar, former classmate Glenn Collins on drums, and later added James Banbury on cello.[1] The demo tape and gig led to the band gaining a recording contract with Hut. Their first single "Show Girl" was praised by the British music magazine, Melody Maker, and the album, New Wave (1993), was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and saw The Auteurs associated with the emerging Britpop genre.[1]

However this association never sat well with Haines who frequently made derogatory remarks about his peers. After New Wave, the band remained on the fringes of the music scene. Drummer Glen Collins was replaced by Barny C. Rockford, after being headhunted from Out of My Hair by producer Phil Vinall. Their next album Now I'm a Cowboy (1994), built on the themes of New Wave and contained Haines' best known song, "Lenny Valentino". Demonstrating, again, their difference from their musical peers, the band's next release was The Auteurs Vs. µ-Ziq, Auteurs songs remixed by producer µ-Ziq (aka Michael Paradinas). In interviews at the time Haines claimed he found contemporary techno and house music more interesting than most Britpop bands.

In 1996 The Auteurs released After Murder Park, produced by Steve Albini, and it included "Land Lovers", "Unsolved Child Murder", and "Buddha". The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios following a year during which Haines had spent most of his time in a wheelchair after jumping off a wall to avoid the strains of touring. Haines then went on to create a band and release an album, based on aspects of the Baader Meinhof terrorist organisation, entitled Baader Meinhof. "The Auteurs" supported "Baader Meinhof" at a London show in Camden's Dingwalls. This saw the band play two sets in different guises, with a few extra musicians coming in and out. The last Auteurs record, How I Learned to Love the Bootboys, was released in 1999.

Alice Readman left the band around the time of the last album, and was replaced by various musicians for live/touring purposes.

Haines also worked as one third of the art-pop band Black Box Recorder, and in 2001 released the soundtrack album to the film, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, rapidly followed by his first solo album proper, The Oliver Twist Manifesto. 2003 saw him release Das Capital, a collection of re-recorded Auteurs era songs, with a couple of new tracks, apparently intended as closure for that band.

Banbury went on to record an album with Paul Morley under the name Infantjoy, and entitled Where the Night Goes. It features a vocal performance by Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder singing a version of Japan's "Ghosts". An Infantjoy album, With, was released in 2006 with collaborators including Tunng, Isan and Populous. James Banbury is currently working with Pete Davis under the name dadahack. Their debut album "TAP3" is a hybrid cassette/mp3 playing device and was released in April 2010.

Several bands influenced by the Auteurs have taken their names from the band's songs. The Polish band Lenny Valentino took its name from The Auteurs' song on their album Now I'm a Cowboy and the Minneapolis based band, Valet, took its name from the song "Valet Parking" from New Wave.

In January 2009, Haines released a book entitled Bad Vibes, which serves dually as an autobiographical account of his years with The Auteurs, and as a record of the Britpop movement of the 1990s. Throughout the book, he never refers to James Banbury by name, referring to him simply as "the Cellist", although he is named in full in the acknowledgements.

In 2014, British independent label 3 Loop Music re-released all of The Auteurs' albums (along with Haines' "Baader Meinhoff" album) as expanded editions which featured b-sides, demos, radio session tracks, live recordings and remixes. 'New Wave' and 'Baader Meinhoff' were also re-released by the label on heavyweight 180gsm vinyl.


Studio albums




  1. 1 2 3 Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 35–36. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. 1 2 3 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 34. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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