Army child Darren Lee Ford, born in Tidworth, Hampshire, spent much of his childhood travelling around Northern Ireland, Germany and England, where his father was stationed before attending boarding school near Dover and spent the previous 10 years before forming Lowgold on the dole and drumming in numerous bands decided to begin singing his songs himself & recorded home demos on a four-track portastudio with friend Dan Symons. Nude responded that they were interested, and wanted to hear more songs and see the band live. When the duo informed Nude there wasn’t actually a band they enlisted Miles Willey, who in addition to being a former bandmate and current housemate of Ford was an old university friend of Symons’ on bass, and drafted in Paul Mayes on drums.

Signed to Nude in late 1998 after watching one rehearsal. The band then set about recording their debut album with American producer Tony Lash. During the initial sessions at Chipping Norton Recording Studios it was agreed that Paul’s heavier drumming style didn’t fit Lowgold so he left the band. Along with Ford, Lash took over drum duties for the album, with former Slowdive drummer Simon Scott joining the band after the main album sessions, appearing on “Counterfeit”, a track recorded with Dave Eringa.

Debut single “The 108” EP released in July 2000, was voted Single of the Week in both the NME and Melody Maker. Touring extensively, including dates with Grandaddy, Doves and a major support tour with Coldplay in October 2000.
Further Singles Beauty Dies Young and Mercury were both on the Radio 1 playlist and charted top 40.

The band released Just Backward of Square in February 2001, shifting 40,000 copies in the UK and broke into the Top 40 album chart .