Dirty Vegas


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In 2000, Paul Harris had chance encounter with old friend Ben Harris. They instantly reconnected and formed Hydrogen Rockers ­ their first release ŒMusica¹ was picked up by Plastica in London and Yoshitoshi in the US. Paul and Ben¹s remixes proved their golden touch - they rallied supporters including Sasha, John Digweed, Pete Tong, and Deep Dish with their dance floor hits including ŒSono ­ Keep Control¹ and ŒLil Louis ­ Blackout¹. Fate stepped in again when Paul bumped into Steve Smith in an airport. After a crazy weekend in Switzerland, Paul, Ben and Steve formed Dirty Vegas. The first track off the starting block was ŒDays Go By.¹ With haunting lyrics and vocals set against a prog-electro riff, it became an instant club classic. A major label deal was signed and a full band was organized ­ just in time for the track to be picked up for a national US advertising campaign for Mitsubishi. In 2002, this Œspot¹ in the commercial helped the album rocket to No. 7 on The US Billboard 200 and No.1 on the Top Electronic Albums chart for 26 weeks.

Driven by the dazzling ŒDays Go By,¹ Dirty Vegas went on to sell nearly a million records worldwide. ŒDays Go By¹ scored Dirty Vegas a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Dance Single. Many other awards followed like Playboy Magazine¹s Electronic Artist of the Year and three Dancestar awards.

Dirty Vegas toured all corners of the globe, developing a reputation as a powerful and entertaining live act. Over the course of 2002 and 2003, the band headlined their own worldwide tour, supported such like-minded artists as Moby and Groove Armada, and stole the show at a number of international festivals, including Coachella (USA), V (UK), Roskilde (Denmark) and Fuji Rock (Japan). The band also made a number of television appearances included acclaimed performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Show and Late Night With David Letterman.

In 2004 the band released their second album One which marked a great artistic leap forward for Dirty Vegas. Recorded in London, Cornwall, and Scotland, the album features a richer, more organic approach than its technology-driven predecessor. ŒWalk Into The Sun¹ was a huge hit in clubs from the far-East to South Beach.

Dirty Vegas has rocked dance floors all over the world and remixed such legendary artists as Madonna, Justin Timberlake and The Dandy Warhols. Dirty Vegas has continued to have their music used in major film and television shows such as The Sopranos, The O.C, One Tree Hill, and Smallville and films such as Die Another Day, Running Scared, and Goal.

In 2005, the weight of being in a touring band at beginning of a very turbulent time in the music business caused the boys to have second thoughts on the whole machine. Paul felt frustrated with the handcuffs that came with being signed to a major record label, so he left the band to get back to his first love - making house music. In the following years Paul was asked to write and produce for artists such as Kylie, Ladyhawk and Sophie Ellis Baxtor. He has been the musical director for fashion shows including Julien McDonald and BIBA. His DJ diary has taken him all over the world, from Warung in Brazil to We Love in Sydney, and has been a resident at Bungalow 8 in London.

Ben also felt the same restrictions from being in a touring band and took some time out from music altogether. This break rekindled Ben's passion for electronic music and he started to write tracks that he felt were perfect for a new beginning with his old band mates.

Steve didn¹t want to let Dirty Vegas die, but he spent his solo time making successful tracks. In 2006 composed the score to the LA Film Awards Best Indie Film, Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down, and wrote the main title theme to the Fox TV show Standoff which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007. Most of 2007 saw Steve fulfilling his dream of recording his debut solo album, and in February 2008 he released his debut solo album This Town on his own label, G.A.S. Records (named for his late father, George Albert Smith). Performances at prestigious events such as Sundance Film Festival and SXSW helped the album gain critical success from rock and dance music fans alike. Despite success as a solo artist, Steve felt there was more to come from Dirty Vegas - and he wasn¹t alone.

Over a few beers in London, Steve, Ben and Paul all excitedly started to talk of writing new music and getting Dirty Vegas back up and running. So in August 2008, the first sessions were booked in London and the results were very promising. December 2008 saw the release of the single ŒPressure¹ on Toolroom Records, The tremendous reviews were full of support from Pete Tong, Mark Knight and Sander Klienenberg.

Not only have the boys been busy working on the new record, they have been remixing the likes of Dizzie Rascal and Ladytron. In January, they performed an acoustic/DJ set at a star-studded inauguration party in DC before rushing off to play at Sundance Film Festival.

With excitement building around their performances at Winter Music Conference in Miami this March and their new single ŒChanges¹ about to be released, things are looking busy for the boys once again.

Best Dirty Vegas Songs of All Time