XX Teens were a five piece band originally formed of graduates from the Byam Shaw School of Art in North London. They began performing as Xerox Teens but with a growing fan base, an eponymous club night and airplay from Zane Lowe, Marc Riley, Jon Kennedy and Steve Lamacq the band came to the attention of the Xerox Corporation. After some discussion they were persuaded to change the name to XX Teens, though settling in a position to fund their first collaboration with the Sheffield filmmaker Simon Green.
They made four videos with Green, a creative relationship that has continued with Anthony Silvester writing the soundtrack to the 2012 short film Albatross: A Love Story. Videos for their songs were also created by the artist Juliet Blightman and the BBC New Music Shorts competition winner Kirk Hendry.
The band's live shows included contemporary dancers, a uniformed brass section and special guests. Such performances, combined with their distinctive videos and comically recalcitrant radio and press interviews, were hallmarks of the band's early years and gained them a following in the art world. They collaborated with Cerith Wyn Evans to mark Modern Art Oxford's 40th anniversary, were photographed by Hedi Slimane and performed for Martin Creed at Tate Britain. Other notable performances included the Royal Festival Hall for Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown and a landmark show at Studio Voltaire where they performed with dancing dogs. The show featured Richard Curtis and his dog dancing display team dancing to a special set on the evening of a lunar eclipse. It was broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM and raised a significant sum towards the upkeep of the radio station.