You want a timeline? Yeah? OK then, here's a timeline.
April 2005: The album is gently released onto the waters, and it bobs quietly out of sight, never to be seen again. But it's really good. Honest.
November 2004: The album, now called A Place Of Our Own, is completed.
August 2004: An exclusive track, Babysitter, appears on the new Kabukikore compilation.
June 2004: Fireman is released as an mp3 only single. Steve Lamacq plays it, god bless him.
April 2004: I find a guitarist, Matt Flaherty, through an advert in Loot, and a piano player, Cath, from the recesses of my brain when I remember how we shared a flat at university and that she was good at playing the piano. We start gigging.
Jan 2004: Work starts, slowly, on the 3rd album.
Dec 2003: After a couple more marvellous gigs, Jim leaves after 2 years of dedication to form his own band Shuttlebug. Can't say I blame him, but not sure if I'll find anyone who can jump as high as him. Tim leaves, too.
June 2003: Hitback team up with Weatherbox to get Free French records abroad. A friend of mine finds one in Bilbao. He doesn't buy it.
May 2003: The LP "It's Not Me, It's You" is finally released on the 19th May.
April 2003: A session for BBC 6Music, playing versions of "Making A List" and "Scatterbrain" live on Gideon Coe's show. Get accosted by two deranged 50 year old autograph hunters outside Broadcasting House afterwards. Odd. Toby leaves shortly afterwards. Tim joins.
January 2003: The song "Vowels" appears on the Flitwick Records compilation CD.
November 2002: Line-up changes. James the drummer moves to Australia. Ken Kelling replaces him, he is thinner and more fond of things made of wood. Rhodri puts down a guitar and picks up the bass. Dave is bidden a sad farewell. Toby Slater plays electric piano. Jim soldiers on, for the moment.
October 2002: The song "Viennese Choir" appears on the Kabuki Kore CD compilation.
September 2002: Recording of the new LP "It's Not Me, It's You"
August 2002: The single "Trial Separations" is released.
June 2002: The LP "Running On Batteries" is released.
April 2002: First single release on Hitback Records. Against all the odds it gets a good review in the NME, and played more than once on Radio Ceredigion (Aberystwyth).
January 2002: First gig at the 12 Bar club, some acoustic, some electric, all gigantic
October 2001: The single "Do You Come Here Often" is written and recorded.
August 2001: Decide against calling the band "Mid-Air" and instead adopt the more alliterative and slightly saucy moniker "The Free French", which was what The Keatons were originally going to be called. Hope Neil Wilson doesn't mind. Susannah says she'll play keyboards. Dave says he'll play bass. Jim says he'll play guitar. Steve says he'll play drums. Then Steve says he can't play drums after all as he has to go to Germany for an extended period of time to perform in a musical about the life of Princess Diana. I mean... we all have to earn money, but really... James Agnew of Scaramanga 6 steps in on drums and stays.
May 2001: Rhodri launches into recording the "Running On Batteries" LP with gusto, with some new found sense of urgency partly brought on by the collapse of a long term relationship and the realisation that the age of 30 is marching inexorably towards him.Takes about six weeks. Sounds good.
December 2000: After three unproductive years (in a musical sense) assembling this stuff - all of which by now is distinctly un-cutting edge and dusty, Rhodri looks at the heap of black boxes and wires and figures he should do something with it. He starts recording some of the Kopek songs, and starts writing new ones.
Summer 1997: With a job and a flat and some kind of stability in his life, Rhodri starts assembling recording equipment at home.
September 1996: Kopek is abandoned after dispiriting recording session in much used D.N.A. studio in Brixton's "dark and dingy" district. A shame. Just didn't quite cut it. No-one phoned. That was that.
March 1996: Rhodri starts short lived and non-gigging combo "Kopek" with Kevin on guitar (Spores, Keatons, Gag), Nicholas on bass (Spores, Keatons) Stephen Brookes on drums (Keatons) and Rosie singing. Playing Rhodri's & Rosie's songs. Some of these were good enough to still be knocking around and not consigned to the dustbin of history.
November 1995: Rhodri left ragged art-quirk combo The Keatons with thoughts of songwriting and a wallet with some semblance of money in it, and perhaps a bath.