When I first met White and De Martino in January ’08, their ascent was about to begin, and their ambition was palpable.
They’d suffered an ignominious false start in their pop career, when their previous band, Dear Eskimo, was signed by a major label, and then swiftly dropped again. ” During an ensuing North American tour, they began to crack up.
To that end, they rented out an old basement jazz club in the trendy, former-Eastern district of Friedrichshain, and it was there that the duo had their initial moment of inspiration to write 'Hands’.
Their notion that they would be stimulated by the area’s bohemian scene, as they were at Islington Mill, proved to be a rose-tinted one.
Through the following year, they conquered the UK airwaves with hits including 'Great DJ’, 'That’s Not My Name’ and 'Shut Up and Let Me Go’.
When the latter song was used in an i Pod ad they became a hot property in America, Japan and beyond and by the end of last year, they’d shifted two million copies of their album, 'We Started Nothing’, and four million singles — astonishing figures for a new pop act in the age of illegal filesharing.
Their first records were put together according to a thrifty DIY aesthetic, whereby they created all their sound using loops, basic computer technology, a cheap guitar, De Martino’s miniature drum kit and White’s shouty singing.
Their comeback single, however, retains all the brash, punky attitude of its predecessors.
The duo, Katie White and Jules De Martino, started out in 2007 in an arty community in Manchester’s Islington Mill development.
De Martino, 40, wears sunglasses, even though it’s raining torrentially outside.