|Birth||23 May 1985, Hammersmith, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Greater London, London|
Blaine Harrison (born Stephen Blaine Harrison on May 23, 1985) is an English musician and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of the indie rock band Mystery Jets.
Blaine started playing instruments as a child. He experimented with drumming at the age of eight, as well as guitar and piano later on. In his early teens, Blaine found a love for listening to progressive rock instead of the commercial garage music preferred by his peers. Blaine’s father, Henry William Cope Harrison, is a former architect and designer. Henry was named “18th coolest person in rock” by NME in 2005. Blaine’s mother, Helen Harrison, is a former maths teacher and lives in the southwest of France. He also has a sister Dymphna Harrison, a designer.
Mystery Jets was first based on Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, London in 2004. The band started with Blaine, his father Henry, and his best friend William when the boys were at school. The current line-up includes Blaine Harrison (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar), William Rees (guitar, vocals), Jack Flanagan (bass), Kapil Trivedi (drums), and Henry Harrison (lyrics) Henry was a full-time member until moving to a background role during the recording of the band’s second album, “Twenty One”. Mystery Jets has released five studio albums, Making Dens (2006), Twenty One (2008), Serotonin (2010), Radlands (2012) and Curve of the Earth (2016). A further album, Zootime (2007) was released as a US only compilation to introduce the band to an American audience. The band divide their time between working at home in London and touring internationally.
Since the early days of the Mystery Jets, when the band would dress in white collarless shirts Blaine has often been pictured dressed up, onstage and off. A style blog who recently named him their “Fashion hero of the week” described his early style as “half elf, half time-travelling hippie, but he had a true bohemian air about him that I longed for and which I felt was missing from London’s indie scene of the time.
Blaine cites his inability to speak French during the years he spent in France as an important influence on his creativity: “At the time I found it quite difficult being so out of the loop, but looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It taught me to use my imagination. I made music because I couldn’t speak the language. Blaine’s personal life has affected the band’s sound a lot; Blaine has cited his turbulent relationship with his first girlfriend as the inspiration behind songs such as “Flakes” and “Behind the Bunhouse” on the album Twenty One. Blaine also has a close relationship with his father, Henry, who introduced him to music as a child and supported his musical career, despite his physical obstacles. Blaine has said his father’s role is more like an older brother’s protectiveness and that there would be no Mystery Jets without him.
Blaine was born with the disability spina bifida, which has affected his leg muscles since he was a child. In 2009 He became a patron of the Attitude is Everything Charity, who work with live music venues in the UK to make gigs accessible for people with disabilities. Blaine was quoted in an interview with the BBC saying, “When we first got together as a band we decided that we wouldn’t make my disability an issue, the same way we didn’t make a big deal of my dad being in the band. We weren’t interested in gimmicks… We wanted people to read our lyrics and listen to our music.” Blaine has said playing live as someone with a physical impairment is sometimes hard work, seeing as many modern facilities still do not have the means to cater for disabled people. He has made it clear that Mystery Jets will only play in venues who have made an effort to cater for people with disabilities and refrain from playing in small, crowded pubs.
In 2008, Mystery jets were forced to pull out of Several UK and European festivals due to Blaine getting sick. Blaine apologized to his fans in a letter on Mystery Jet’s Myspace blog.