Since forming in 2006 Middleman have swiftly gained a fervent live following, particularly around their adopted city of Leeds. The buzz and hype surrounding their tight, energetic live shows quickly translated into a record deal with Bad Sneakers, who released Blah Blah Blah (July 2007) and Good To Be Back (November 2007), which reached numbers 14 and 10 in the Indie Chart respectively. Both received airplay on Kerrang Radio, XFM and Radio One, the latter of which saw Steve Lamacq vote Middleman his unsigned band of the week, Zane Lowe, Colin Murray and Huw Stephens play them on heavy rotation, and Stephens invite them down to record a four-track live session at the Maida Vale Studios for his show. They have also recorded live sessions for Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6) and XFM London, and been featured on a plethora of television programmes (including Channel M and Soccer AM). The Band’s song You Look Like You Do appeared on the Neon Nights Mixtape (2007) alongside artists such as Gossip, Crystal Castles and Kate Nash.
In terms of accolades, Middleman were nominated for, and came second in, the 2006 BT Digital Music Awards as Best Unsigned Band; were voted Unsigned Hip Hop Act of the Year by Channel 4 entertainment show Freshly Squeezed, and were the overall winners of the 2009 Futuresound competition which saw them opening the Festival Republic stage at both Reading and Leeds festivals.
Middleman have played over 200 live gigs, both as headliners and as supporting artists to acts as diverse as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Streets, Jack Penate, Lethal Bizzle, The Go Team!, Toots And The Maytals, Esser, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and The Sunshine Underground. They have played many key, high profile shows, including over a dozen festivals (where their vibe seems most apt) such as Latitude 2007, Leeds 2007 (Topman Unsigned Stage Headline Act), Secret Garden Party 2007 (Main Stage), Beat-Herder 2007, Kendal Calling 2009 (Main Stage), Moor Music 2007 and 2009, Reading 2009 (Festival Republic Stage), and Leeds 2009 (on both the Festival Republic Stage and the BBC Introducing Stage).
Having just wowed the crowds at South By South West 2010 (including gaining local news coverage) and having licensed music to MTV USA, the band are currently finishing their self-produced debut album and preparing the first single from the album for release. With a Dutch tour in May, their loyal fan base increasing with their reputation, and another festival season approaching, 2010 is going to be a big year for, if not THE year of, Middleman, and their unique brand of quintessentially British, feel-good, big-beat, toe-tapping, ear-mashing hip-pop.
"Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq and XFM are already onto this lot - hopefully the rest of the pack will catch up." Music Week
“Middleman make bouncy, vibrant, ridiculously catchy tunes that stand out a mile from everything else around at the moment." Huw Stephens, Radio One
“Huge pop choruses, bouncy intros and hooks you will not be able to forget even after fifteen pills and a weekend stuck in traffic on the M1.” NME