The group was founded in 1999. The band's original line up featured keyboardist Tim Croston, guitarist Pete Williams, guitarist James Shames, singer Emily Gray, singer Ed Carder and guitarist and drum machine operator Mark Halloran, all students at the University of Oxford. Bass player Ollie Clueit joined late 1999 prior to the departure of singer Ed Carder. Their style, compared by some to Mogwai and Arab Strap, saw Gray deliver self-penned monologues over a wall of guitar noise and samples guided by a strong beat. Their first release was a split CD single with Moonkat on the Jitter label. Featuring 'Morning After Pill' this release saw the band gain play on BBC Radio 1 and London's XFM. Following this Jitter released a limited 7" featuring the tracks 'Morning After Pill' and 'No Cigar' which prompted John Peel to offer the band their first of three Peel Sessions. The band recorded their debut album Indian Ink that summer which was again released via Jitter on CD and 10" vinyl. Later that year the band were chosen by Peel to support Pulp at a Radio 1 event in Birmingham and 'Morning After Pill' was voted number 11 in John Peel's 2001 Festive 50. Williams left the band shortly after this.