The group formed in Nottingham in 1996 after having played initially under the name "Friends Of..." since their first gig at the Old Angel in Nottingham in late 1992. After recording several demos and playing gigs, the band attracted record company interest, and played to a room full of A&R men in Leicester's Charlotte. The room emptied before the first 15 minute song was complete. Undeterred, the band continued to write and record. Bass player Paul Douglas joined later that year.
The band got their break by playing support slots with Rocket From The Crypt and Girls Against Boys, and later changed their name to Six By Seven. The name was taken from the research connected with the Hubble telescope. Sam Hempton came up with the name and described it as follows: "There was a big debate as to whether the millions of other galaxies in the universe were accelerating away from each other or moving away at a constant rate, or whether they were actually coming back in on themselves. The scientists originally thought that everything would eventually come back in on itself and implode, but what's actually... Read More|
... happening is that they are accelerating away at a rate of 6 x 7." (Coincidentally 6x7=42, which is supposedly the answer to the greatest question of life, the universe and everything, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide books).
In 1997 the band released their first 12" single 'European Me' to critical acclaim, with numerous publications citing them as one of the most exciting new names in UK guitar-based music, leading to a five album deal. Their first album, The Things We Make was released the following year, after which they began headlining their own shows, as well as touring with The Ash, Manic Street Preachers, Dandy Warhols and Placebo. As a sign that Six By Seven had achieved true success, they were asked to play a live session on the John Peel Show, broadcast in May 1998. They recorded four more over the next four years.
Their second album, The Closer You Get was released in 2000. Sam Hempton left the band shortly thereafter. Douglas followed in 2002, after the release of their third album The Way I Feel Today.
In September 2004 the fourth album called 04 was released, along with a collection of outtakes from the recording sessions called Left Luggage At The Peveril Hotel which was initially available through the band's website.
In April 2005 a new album was announced for release entitled Artists Cannibals Poets Thieves - it was described as Six by Seven's "first album as a three piece". Shortly before the fifth album's release in June 2005 the band announced they were to "stop touring and effectively end the group for the foreseeable future", with a live album and a b-sides and rarities collection to follow. Chris Davis released his first Spotlight Kid album with Katty Heath providing lead vocals.
In December 2005 a new studio album (a second collection of "sketchbook ideas", rough demo's and shelved songs) - Club Sandwich at the Peveril Hotel - was released on the band's web site on January 16, 2006, with a limited number of copies making their way into stores in March. Although there was mention (and even scheduling) of a series of live gigs for early 2006, these shows were eventually cancelled.
In August 2006 the band made a surprise appearance playing at the Social in Nottingham with a new line up featuring past collaborators Tony Doggen Foster and Ady Fletcher with Ian Bissett newly recruited on the drums.
In September 2006 a "bootleg" collection of rarities, live tracks and demo recordings was made available via the bands' website.
On 12 December 2006 the band played another gig at the Social in Nottingham. Once again this featured the lineup of Chris Olley, James Flower, Doggen, Ady Fletcher and Ian Bissett.
In February 2007 it was officially announced via the band website that Six By Seven had reformed with their original lineup of Chris Olley, Sam Hempton, James Flower and Christian Davis. Pete Stevenson took over Paul Douglas' role on bass.
July 2007 saw the internet release of a new album recorded solely by Olley and Flower. It was entitled 'If Symptoms Persist, Kill Your Doctor' and was limited to 1000 copies only. Its lyrics are inspired by an episode of a BBC TV programme called The Trap. Gigs were scheduled to coincide with the release.
A best of (with songs chosen by fans on the official forum) was released later including remixes and a DVD containing the band's promo videos.
The band finally imploded after Chris Olley left in November 2008.
All releases since 2008 have been via Chris Olley (utilising the Six. By Seven site). None are sanctioned by the other band members and are classed as bootlegs by Chris.
After 2008 Chris Olley released a few solo albums and also recorded under two other project names (Twelve and Fuck Me USA). In 2011 he began recording with a band again and the project was named [a=(The Death Of) Six. By S