The Early Days
Founder Bruce Soord started The Pineapple Thief as an outlet for his music back in 1999. Soord released the debut Abducting the Unicorn on Cyclops Records, which created enough interest to establish a small but loyal fan base. Soord returned to the Dining Room studios to work on the second album 137. During this time, several major labels started to take an interest, causing a delay in the release which arrived over two years after the debut. However, it was debatably the third album, Variations on a Dream that gave TPT the boost they needed, reaching out to yet more people all over the world, by which point TPT were consistently the top sellers on their label, Cyclops.
After this release in the spring of 2002 Bruce decided to form a band to take his music to the fans, in fact until that moment the TPT were just a so called “one-man studio project”. The new band consisted of his close musical friends – former university bandmate Jon Sykes on bass, Wayne Higgins on guitars, Matt O’Leary on keyboards and Keith Harrison on drums. As a full band, they released 12 Stories Down in 2004, but Bruce Soord was unhappy with the final sound and re-recorded, remixed and changed some of the tracks before the release of 10 Stories Down in 2005. Matt O’Leary subsequently left the band, but Steve Kitch (who co-produced and mixed 10 Stories Down) joined to play keyboards.
Following the release of Little Man in 2006, the band released What We Have Sown in late 2007 as a final Cyclops release before being signed to Kscope, a division of Snapper Music. In 2007 The Pineapple Thief’s music featured on the final Episode of the MTV show The Hills (Season 3). The song ‘Snowdrops’ can be heard on episode 28 during a scene between Lauren & Jo.
Wayne Higgins left the band in March 2008, but the group continued as a four-piece live act, playing gigs across Europe, U.S.A. and Canada throughout much of the following years.
Tightly Unwound and Kscope
In May 2008, The Pineapple Thief launched the Kscope label with the critically acclaimed album Tightly Unwound, which was marked by launch shows at Witchwood in Manchester on 17 May 2008 and at the Water Rats Theatre in London on 22 May 2008. The same day as the album’s release, a mini-documentary filmed at The Half Moon, London, was released through the band’s website, featuring interviews and two exclusive live tracks.
This was followed in 2009 by The Dawn Raids EPs and 3000 Days, a 2-CD re-mixed and re-mastered collection of songs from their ten-year history to date. In January 2010, their 2006 album, Little Man was also fully remixed by Bruce Soord and Steve Kitch and released through Kscope with new artwork. There are plans to gradually give all of their back catalogue the same treatment as the Cyclops albums are no longer available and sell for large sums in the second-hand market. 2009 also saw them supporting the Polish band Riverside on the UK leg of their European tour.
Someone Here Is Missing was launched at a show at Bush Hall, London on 19 May 2010, the album also features artwork by the legendary designer Storm Thorgerson. The album continues to nurture the band’s trademark ‘bittersweet’ progressive sound.
2010 saw a number of European festival appearances and a full 2-week tour of mainland Europe. This was recorded and released as the download-only album Someone Here Is Live.
The band entered the studio in January 2012 to record their ninth album, which included (for the first time) a 22-piece orchestra and choir. All the Wars was released in September 2012 and followed by a UK tour.
On 8 February 2014 the band announced that Dan Osborne had replaced Keith Harrison on drums.
The Pineapple Thief’s tenth studio album, Magnolia, was released on 15 September 2014. It peaked at number #55 on UK Album Chart.
However, it was the introduction of world renowned drummer Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, Porcupine Tree) for the band’s 2016 album, Your Wilderness that propelled them to the forefront of the global progressive rock scene. The album produced 4m+ album streams, a #7 in the UK Independent Charts and two extensive headline European tours culminating with a sold out show at London’s Islington Assembly Hall where the concert was recorded for the live release Where We Stood.
“Dissolution and Versions of the Truth Albums”
With the new lineup firmly in place, the band released their most recent album Dissolution in August 2018. This has seen them propelled to even greater heights, having gained a #1 position in the UK Rock Charts and #22 in the German national album charts.
The band have garnered high praise across the worldwide media as can be seen in the small selection of review quotes below…
Prog Magazine – Album Of The Month – ‘a varied album that pulls together the band’s diverse styles into nine cerebral but very accessible songs’
Kerrang Magazine – ‘Its existence makes the world a slightly better place’
Total Guitar – ‘this is essential listening for fans of contemporary prog’
Slam (DE) – ‘Just a beautiful, melancholy record, powerful and full of hymn-like harmonies.’
Lust for Life (NL) – ‘Dissolution ticks all the boxes’
RockTribune (BE) – ‘an album to cherish’
Rockerilla (IT) – ’a beautiful album from the beginning to the end, where every track is a piece of a mosaic of enchanted sounds’
The Dissolution Tour brought The Pineapple Thief on tour in Europe, Canada, Mexico and United States between 2018 and 2019 with over fifty shows, including several sold out shows and venue upgrades, celebrated with the release of their third live album Hold Our Fire in November 2019.
The band are now back to the recording studio, to continue work on their next studio album, which is due on release in the summer 2020.