Louis Eliot - Lead vocalist, guitar, and songwriter.
Jonny Bull - Guitar, programming, backing vocals and producer
Julian Taylor - Bass, backing vocals and trumpet
Pete Cuthbert - Drums
Toby Hounsham - Keyboards
Anthony Christmas - Drums

Lead singer Louis Eliot grew up in London with Jonny Bull. At the tail-end of 1991, Louis and Jonny formed Kinky Machine, a Britpop front-runner before the term had even been coined. Their blend of brash, swaggering guitars and tales of "bad sex and cheap drugs" quickly built a faithful live following. In 1992, they had two Top 10 independent hits and a Manic Street Preachers tour support to write home about. An eponymous debut album in 1993 only added fuel to their smouldering fire.

A major label deal saw a second album, "Bent", in 1995. By then, the new wave of new wave had kicked in and the likes of S*M*A*S*H and Elastica saw the style and attitude typified by Kinky Machine become commonplace. Add mounting record label and management difficulties to the equation and Kinky Machine decided to cut their losses and call it a day.

However, that wasn't the end. Keen to continue their creative partnership, Louis and Jonny holed themselves up and began working on new songs. Louis' songwriting and Jonny's talent as a producer soon took on a whole new lease of life. By January 1997, they had assembled a new band.

Louis says: "When Kinky Machine disintegrated me and Jonny wanted to continue working together, so it was really just a matter of disappearing off together. We got a reel-to-reel 8-track recorder, then a 16-track, and we were just sort of messing around in Johnny's flat and developing a new sound. We found our bass player (Julian Taylor) because he'd been bouncing around a lot of bands; he was a great bass player, did great harmonies, and he had wonderful taste in music, but he was terrible at choosing bands (to play with). We didn't know him very well, but we said, "You should join our band." But I guess he thought he were slagging off his band, so it took awhile to get him down to play with us".

"Pete Cuthbert (Drummer) we got out of a Melody Maker advert. We just thought about it and said, well, it could take a year, but we'll put an ad in, we'll audition people, and we'll find the right guy. And we did. And it did take about a year! It wasn't, like, shit, we need a drummer next week". Keyboarder Toby Hounsham was also added via an ad in the back pages of Melody Maker, as was their second live drummer, Anthony Christmas.

So Rialto was born as a six-piece in 1997 with the sole intention of making their place on this planet a necessary one.

Then came the name.

Louis says: "It's the kind of band that would sound great in a dilapidated old cinema or an old theatre with all their faded grandeur, the sort of crumbling kind of glamour of an old cinema with the red velvet seats with a few cigarette burns in them. So Rialto just seemed like a good name because there used to be this chain of cinemas with that name that has since gone bust."

The most commonly used words to describe Rialto were "cinematic"and "film noir". Other comparisons included Ennio Morricone, Scott Walker, Phil Spector, John Barry or Brian Wilson. They wrote songs about dysfunctional and obsessional love - the realm of the outsider - and when they released their eponymous debut album in 1998 there was predictable acclaim.

However, there was a minor hiccup before the above mentioned release - Rialto were dropped by their record company.

They were dropped by their first record label, East West, shortly before their self-titled debut album was due to be released in the UK. This came as a shock to many (especially the band) given that the decision followed promising singles sales and a couple of top 40 showings. Louis says: "It was a change of management at East West, and the new MD wanted to ditch the bands that were the babies of the old head of A&R. They kept the likes of Jimmy Nail and dumped us."

They were then signed by indie label China Records, who subsequently put out the self-titled debut album that East West had passed on. They must have been rather satisfied when the album went on to sell a quarter of a million copies.

However, there's yet another twist in the tale. China Records who were taken over by Warner in 1999. Warner left East West in charge of the band, who dropped them for a second time. At this point it looked like Rialto were beginning to challenge My Life Story for the title of "Britain's Unluckiest Band".

A one shot deal with internet indie label gimmemusic saw the band put out a 6 track EP/mini album "Girl On A Train" in 2000. After a long, long negotiation, the band signed a deal with Eagle Records to put out their second album "Night On Earth". Koch Entertainment picked up the option to release the album in the US in March 2002.

And that's Rialto's history to date.

Louis has subsequently launched a solo career. He released a solo EP late in 2002 which was very well received, and his debut solo album has already been released in Asia, and is slated for a July release in the UK.

He says about his solo venture: "I suppose what’s good about being solo is… you get to be the boss! You make the decisions you know… So far… so good, being solo… but who knows, maybe Rialto will even do something again together. I feel quite happy to be solo, but I really didn’t wanna do it when I was starting out, I wanted to be in a group".

He says of his album: "Well, it’s called the “Long Way Around”, and it’s… I guess the difference between the new album and the old Rialto stuff is that Rialto had this big sort of film-making, cinematic sound, and my new record has got more intimate sound, it’s more… I think it’s a bit more human sounding, it’s probably closer to the way that I write the songs, you know, to the sound of the songs when I write them. Coz I generally write songs on an acoustic guitar. It’s quite a lot of that on the new record, acoustic guitar, sort of humble… quite homely instruments… I think the record has just got more of down homeful feeling, and then a kind of folky-ness."

I guess we shall have to wait and see how well the solo venture goes before there's any more talk of another Rialto album. I sincerely hope that they do get round to making another - Rialto's unique sound is too good for a mere two albums!