Duty Free is a band from Sheffield in the UK. High School friends Eddie Thelwell, Martin Lowes, Matt Cunningham and Nick Warne learned to play their instruments together, covering songs by Blink-182, Less Than Jake, Bad Religion, AFI and Alkaline Trio. Practices were soon held for hours every Friday night in Nick's garage room and originals replaced the covers. 'PMT' and 'The Adrenaline Munkies' were early names until 'Duty Free' was decided on.
Duty Free waited to play gigs until they believed they were good enough, rather than rushing to play gigs with a poor stage presence and ropey songs. When they did feel ready, they received a warm reception from their audiences and were quickly asked to headline many local shows, often sharing the stage with similar local bands such as 'Snatchback' and 'Neighbourhood Watch'.
A five-track EP called 'Sick The Rad' was recorded over a few weekends at 'Interstellar Sandwich Studios' and the limited numbers sold out very quickly. Stand out track 'Get To You' was also rated the number one unsigned punk song in Yorkshire on mp3.com.
Duty Free spent a year on the 'Red Tape Studios Band Development Course'. During this time they learned much about the music industry as well as the recording process and their sound changed from fast punk to a more melodic pop punk. This is evident on their unreleased mini-album 'Like It's Your Last' which was recorded as part of their time at Red Tape.
After the band left Sheffield for university or jobs, Eddie Thelwell left the band and was replaced on drums by former Snatchback drummer and long time friend, Neil Denver.
On breaks from university, Duty Free headed back to Interstellar Sandwich to record what was planned to be the first of a collection of two track singles. The result was 'Volume 1: Rusted Relationships', which featured a tighter sound with vocal harmonies and layered guitars. This was the band's strongest release and their last to date.
At the end of March 2008 a track from the unreleased mini-album, Like It's Your Last called 'Trust You?' will be released on Banquet Records as part of Punktastic's 'Unscene 4' compilation.
Duty Free: 2000 - 2005 (year of last release and performance)
Eddie Thelwell - drums (2000-2004)
Martin Lowes - vocals/guitar
Matt Cunningham - bass
Neil Denver - drums (2004+)
Nick Warne - vocals/guitar .