James from Hadouken!
Background information
Origin Leeds, England, UK
Genres Electronica, drum and bass, dance-punk, grindie
Years active 2006–present
Labels Ministry of Sound
Atlantic Records
Kitsuné Music
Associated acts The Midnight Beast, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Pendulum, Noisia
Website hadouken.co.uk
James Smith
Alice Spooner
Daniel "Pilau" Rice
Christopher Purcell
Nick Rice

Hadouken! are an English grime, electronica, dance band who formed in Leeds in October 2006 by singer, writer and producer James Smith, alongside his girlfriend,[1] synth player Alice Spooner, guitarist Daniel "Pilau" Rice, and drummer Nick Rice. The band name is taken from the name of a special attack in the Street Fighter video game series. It was in Leeds that Hadouken! began their own record label, Surface Noise Records.[2]


Early years

After forming the label, Smith began writing and demoing the first Hadouken! tracks. In February 2007, Hadouken! self-released a two song limited edition vinyl, a double-a side of "That Boy That Girl" and "Tuning In". The former gained popularity after the video made it to number one in MTV Two's NME Chart.[3]

Hadouken! played their first gig at the Dirty Hearts Club in Southend on September 16, 2006.[4] They played their debut London gig the following week at the notorious Another Music Another Kitchen night at Proud Gallery in Camden. They recorded demos and spent their first six months playing gigs predominantly in Leeds and London. In December 2006, Hadouken! recruited bass player Chris Purcell.

The band first began getting noticed more widely in 2006. It was 2007 though, when success properly came to the band. In January 2007 Mike Skinner of The Streets gave the band one of their first radio plays, he played future single 'That Boy That Girl' on BBC Radio 1 whilst guest presenting Zane Lowe's new music show, describing the band as 'a great new band.' In February 2007 the band released what is said to be an internet phenomenon,[5] described as "a savage, snarling work of genius", by NME.[6] single double a-side "That Boy That Girl/Tuning In" through the band's own label, Surface Noise Records. A video was also made for the track by friend of the band Bobby Harlow, which charted successfully in the MTV Two/NME chart. The latter, "Tuning In" appeared as a remix on Kitsuné Music's compilation album, Kitsuné Maison Compilation 4, titled "Tuning In [H! Re-rub]". The remix also was used as a b-side on the 10-inch single from Kitsuné Music, released on 7 May 2007.

Liquid Lives was released as the band's second single release on 25 June 2007.[7] The song received moderate airplay on MTV2, and charted successfully in the NME Chart Show. The band released a new video for the track, as well as an exclusive live video recorded as part of "MTV2 Live". "Liquid Lives" marked Hadouken!'s first move into the UK Singles Chart, reaching #36 on 1 July.[8] In June 2007, the band completed a full UK tour supported by Electro/Punk band Does It Offend You, Yeah? and rapper Example.

Not Here to Please You and Music for an Accelerated Culture (2007–2008)

Hadouken!'s third single, "Leap of Faith", was a digital only release on 12 November 2007. The song was taken from their Not Here to Please You mixtape. The mixtape or EP includes the bands remixes of Bloc Party and Plan B and a new remix of a Bolt Action Five song, as well as some older songs that have been re-recorded. The mixtape was released on 12 November 2007 and was only available in USB format.

Throughout September, October and November 2007 Hadouken! played a UK tour with support from fellow Leeds band Shut Your Eyes and You'll Burst Into Flames as well as Manchester based The Whip, The Ghost Frequency and Late of the Pier. The tour coincided with the release of "Leap of Faith" and their new mixtape Not Here to Please You.

On 7 January 2008, Hadouken! were guest presenters on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio1 show. On the show Hadouken! referred to previous single 'Leap of Faith' as an experiment and suggested the album would draw more on their dance music influences, comparing it to The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.

On 17 February 2008 the band released the first studio recording from their upcoming untitled album, the track titled "Get Smashed Gate Crash" was released on the band's MySpace.

On 3 March 2008, Hadouken! announced the albums title (Music for an Accelerated Culture), as well as details on the promo track for the album Get Smashed Gate Crash'.

For the Masses and The M.A.D EP (2009–2010)

In mid-2009, the band recorded their second studio album, For the Masses, in Holland with drum and bass producers Noisia. They described the new album as being different, both lyrically and musically, and posted frequent updates via their Twitter account.

In August, the band confirmed the release of the M.A.D. EP, which contained 3 brand new tracks and 3 remixes of the track "M.A.D.". The EP was released digitally in September. The band's second studio album, For the Masses, was released on 25 January 2010.

The band unveiled their new single, "Turn the Lights Out" on 10 November 2009 on their MySpace.

On 25 January 2010, Hadouken! released For the Masses, which reached #17 in the UK album chart on the week of its release. The album was followed up by a new mix of single Mic Check which included a sample from Tina Moore's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

In May 2010, Hadouken! wrote an anthem for the UK Labour Party as part of the lead up to the 2010 General Election. The song is entitled "Things Could Only Get Worse".

Mecha Love and The Oxygen EP (2010–2011)

Hadouken! revealed on 30 May 2010, via Twitter,[9] that work has been started on their third album, and on 31 May, they revealed demos of new tracks had been written.[10] A new single, "Mecha Love", was released on the 17 October.

Following the radio debut of "Mecha Love", James Smith confirmed that a second single had been recorded and was ready for release. "The Oxygen EP", "Oxygen", was released digitally on the 7 November.

Signing to Ministry of Sound and Present (2011)

On 18 April 2011 Hadouken! signed to independent label Ministry of Sound with whom they will release their forthcoming third album. The band are currently in the studio working with Michael Winner.


Year Album details Peak chart
2008 Not Here to Please You Mixtape
  • Released: 11 Feb 2008
  • Label: Surface Noise Records
  • Format: USB
2008 Music for an Accelerated Culture 12
2010 For the Masses
  • Released: 25 January 2010
  • Label: Surface Noise/EMI
  • Format: CD

Hadouken! Remixing

Hadouken! Remixes

  • Crank it up - Clik Clik Remix
  • Crank it up - Does It Offend You Yeah? Remix
  • Crank it up - Haunt Remix
  • Crank it up - Noisia Remix
  • Declaration of War - Hadouken! vs. Kissy Sell Out Remix
  • Declaration of War - Jeuce Remix
  • Declaration of War - Mason Vocal Remix
  • Declaration of War - Mason Dub Remix
  • Declaration of War - The Whip Remix
  • Get Smashed Gate Crash - David Wolf Remix
  • Get Smashed Gate Crash - Dezz Jones vs. D&G Remix
  • House is Falling - Foamo Remix
  • Leap of Faith - Shoes Remix
  • Liquid Lives - Gutter Remix by Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir
  • Liquid Lives - Noisia Remix
  • M.A.D - Detboi Remix
  • M.A.D - Phace Remix
  • M.A.D - Plastician Remix
  • Mecha Love - LAXX Remix
  • Mecha Love - Nova Remix
  • Mic Check - Camo and Krooked Remix
  • Mic Check - Stupid Fresh Remix
  • Oxygen - Alix Perez Remix
  • Oxygen - Gemini Remix
  • Oxygen - Slugz and Joe London Remix
  • Turn the Lights Out - JFB Remix
  • Turn the Lights Out - Spor Remix
  • Ugly - Dub Remix

Awards and nominations

Hadouken! have had some success at the BT Digital Music Awards, where they received two nominations in the Best Electronic Artist/DJ category in 2007 and 2008, winning the 2008 award.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 Hadouken! Best Electronic Artist/DJ Nominated
2008 Hadouken! Best Electronic Artist/DJ Won

Soundtracks and Syncs

  • BBC Switch with Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, Leap of Faith: Opening Theme (2007)
  • Converse - Band of Ballers Campaign (August 2009)
  • Rebirth and Mic Check - National Sports Forum:Promo Trailer (January 2010)
  • Turn the Lights Out - MMA: EA Sports (February 2010)
  • M.A.D - Piranha 3D (March 2010)
  • Bombshock - Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2011: EA Games (June 2010)
  • M.A.D - The Sims 3: EP3 (July 2010)
  • Turn the Lights Out - Crysis 2 Trailer (August 2010)
  • Bombshock - The Fast and the Furious 5 Trailer (April 2011)

Television Appearances

Notable Live Appearances

  • Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka (11 August 2007)
  • Summer Sonic Festival, Tokyo (12 August 2007)
  • Leeds Festival, Radio 1/NME Stage (24 August 2007)
  • Reading Festival, Radio 1/NME Stage (25 August 2007)
  • Ibiza Rocks, Manumission (28 August 2007)
  • NME Brats, Koko (7 Feb 2007)
  • RockNess Festival, Clash Stage, Scotland (8 June 2008)
  • Glastonbury Festival, John Peel Stage (27 June 2008)
  • iTunes Festival 2008, Koko. London (3 July 2008)
  • Splendor in the Grass, Byron Bay. Australia (2 August 2008)
  • Summer Sonic, Osaka (11 August 2008)
  • Summer Sonic, Tokyo (12 August 2008)
  • Bestival, Isle of Wight (6 September 2008)
  • Camden Roundhouse, London (18 October 2008)
  • Pukklepop Festival, Belgium (August 2008)
  • Lowlands Festival, Holland (August 2008)
  • Melt Festival, Hamburg (July 2008)
  • Exit festival, Serbia (July 2009)
  • Victoria Park w. Tiesto, London (31 July 2009)
  • Stagedive Day Out Festival, Sweden (22 August 2009)
  • Warrior's Dance Festival W/ The Prodigy, Makuhari Messe, Tokyo (20 September 2009)
  • BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend (22 May 2010)
  • Razmatazz Festival (5 June 2010)
  • RockNess Festival, Scotland 2010 (13 June 2010)
  • Dour Festival, Belgium (15 July 2010)
  • Underage Festival, Victoria Park (1 August 2010)
  • Leeds Festival, Radio 1/NME Stage (24 August 2010)
  • Reading Festival, Radio 1/NME Stage (25 August 2010)
  • Pendulum 2010 Arena Tour Main Support (December 2010)
  • Isle of Wight Festival, The Big Top (June 2011)
  • Sziget Festival, Hungary (August 2011)
  • Cambridge Junction (16 September 2011)
  • Birmingham NIA
  • Wembley Arena
  • Nottingham Trent FM Arena
  • Manchester Central Arena
  • Newcastle Radio Arena
  • Aberdeen AECC


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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