British indie rock outfit Six by Seven was formed in Nottingham, England in the early '90s by singer/guitarist , guitarist Sam Hempton, organist James Flower, bassist Paul Douglas, and drummer Chris Davis. Hailed as "one of the all-time great debut singles" by the NME, their self-released autumn 1997 single "European Me" sold out in a week and resulted in a contract with , which issued the band's full-length The Things We Make in the spring of 1998. A mix of post-rock, psychedelia, and shoegaze, Six by Seven created ample buzz, making their first appearance on John Peel's BBC show later that year and hitting the road with bands like , , and . Their John Leckie-produced follow-up, The Closer You Get, arrived in 2000 to strong critical reception, though Hempton would depart not long after its release. Taking a more concise pop-oriented approach on 2002's The Way I Feel Today, Six by Seven soon parted ways with both bassist Douglas and the label. Over the next two years, the trio of , Flower, and Davis recorded a pair of studio albums (2004's 04 and 2005's Artists Cannibals Poets Thieves) for their own label,
. An unofficial sixth album called Club Sandwich at the Peveril Hotel received a limited release in early 2006, though the group disbanded not long after.
The break didn't last long, however, and in 2007
and Flower recorded a new album under the Six by Seven banner titled If Symptoms Persist, Kill Your Doctor. Shows were played with a variation of the band's early lineup, and they issued a CD/DVD anthology called Any Colour So Long as It's Black (All the Way from Forest Fields and Back...) in 2008 before finally left the band to work on other projects. A new lineup featuring , Flower, and drummer Steve Hewitt resurfaced in 2013 to release Love and Peace and Sympathy. Four years later they again re-formed to commemorate the oddly timed milestone of their second album's 17th anniversary. Reissued in March 2017 by , The Closer You Get got a deluxe treatment complete with bonus tracks from the group's Peel Sessions. reunited Six by Seven's original lineup that same month to perform the album in its entirety in the U.K. ~ Timothy Monger & Jason Ankeny, Rovi