Gene started with a bang. Two music journalists formed a label in order to release the band's first single, 'For the Dead', in 1994. It sold out within a week. Combining the cheek of Britpop with the rawness of predecessors like The Faces and the Jam, Gene featured Martin Rossiter on vocals and guitar, plus Matt James (drums) and Kevin Miles on bass. In 1994, they signed to Polydor and released another single, 'Be My Light, Be My Guide' in 1994. Spurred on by Martin Rossiter's witty and sometimes outrageous interviews, by January 1995 the band had been named 'Best New Act' at NME's Brat Awards. Their debut album 'Olympian' reached the Top 10 in 1995. It was followed by a collection of b-sides and Peel sessions in 1996, and another album, 'Drawn to the Deep End', in 1997. Despite reaching the Top 10, 'Drawn Into the Deep End' received mixed reviews, and by 2000, the band found themselves without a record deal. Undaunted by this, they founded their own label, 'Contral', and issued the live set 'Rising for Sunset - Live at the Troubadour' in 2000, followed by 2002's 'Libertine'.