Operator Please in 2008. L - R: Henderson, McConnell, Wilkinson, Commandeur, Gardiner
Background information Origin Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia Genres Indie rock
Years active 2005–present Labels Virgin/EMI
Website operatorpleaseband.com Members Amandah Wilkinson
Past members Sarah Gardiner
Operator Please are an Australian pop band, originating on the Gold Coast of Queensland, in 2005. Their current lineup consists of vocalist and guitarist Amandah Wilkinson, drummer Tim Commandeur, keyboardist Chris Holland, Ashley McConnell on bass guitar, and violinist Taylor Henderson.
The original members met and formed Operator Please as students of Elanora State High School in order to compete in the school's "Battle of the Bands" competition. In 2007, Operator Please released the singles "Get What You Want", "Leave It Alone", "Just a Song About Ping Pong" and their debut studio album, Yes Yes Vindictive. "Just a Song About Ping Pong", their most successful single to date, was nominated for two ARIA Awards in 2007, winning one for Breakthrough Artist – Single.
Operator Please was formed in early 2005 by lead singer Amandah Wilkinson in an attempt to compete in her high school's annual "Battle of the Bands" competition. After winning the contest, the five members, aged 17 to 19, started working on getting their name out through an independently produced EP, On the Prowl. Their second EP, Cement Cement, generated interest both locally and internationally, from a combination of word of mouth and exposure on the Australian youth radio network Triple J (which featured their first single, "Crash Tragic", taken from the EP, on high rotation for quite some time). Within months, and with the help of a record label sponsored showcase in NYC, they had agreed a deal with Virgin/EMI Records for Australia, and for the UK with indie label Brille Records.
"Just a Song About Ping Pong" was one of the most added songs at Australian commercial radio with the Hot 30 and Nova radio stations nationally leading the charge. The music video for the song was played on music programmes around Australia, UK, and Europe including MTV, Channel V, and ABC's rage. It was featured on the front page of MySpace and YouTube. Operator Please has since been labelled as "our favorite new band" and "the next big thing" by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
Since the announcement that the band were to play the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK in August, Operator Please continued to play industry showcases in the UK. The single "Just a Song About Ping Pong", released in Australia on 28 July 2007, was added to national UK radio station BBC Radio 1 and London station XFM, following an NME feature which named them one of EMI's buzz bands. The single debuted in the ARIA Singles Chart on 6 August 2007at #15, and topped out at #12. The single is nominated for two ARIA Awards in 2007: Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist – Single, and won the award for Breakthrough Artist – Single. Also, this was on the same night of their television performing debut performing that single.
The band recorded their debut studio album, titled Yes Yes Vindictive at The Groves, on the Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia, which was released on 10 November. It charted at number 28 on the ARIA Albums Chart on the week beginning 19 November. A track titled "Zero! Zero!" was heard on the Top Shelf program of Australian radio station Triple J on 2 October. The band also opened for Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs on their Australian tours and then went on tour in the UK, Europe, and Asia. The band finally released Yes Yes Vindictive in the UK on 17 March 2008. The band toured as a support act for The Futureheads and Lightspeed Champion; and played many festivals across Europe including Glastonbury Festival. They have also covered two songs: "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa and "Whip It" by Devo; videos of these can be seen on YouTube.
Operator Please spent most of 2009 composing their second album. They confirmed that two songs, "Logic" and "Back and Forth" will be in the album. The band stated that the new album will have a more electronic feel than Yes Yes Vindictive. A demo version of "Back and Forth" was used on a update video of their progress on album number 2 which featured Wilkinson writing text onto paper and small slides of instruments, as well as shots of Commandeur and Wilkinson. On 15 January 2010, the band revealed their first single, "Logic", from the new album. "Logic" was released as a single on 8 February 2010. On the official website, Logic was available as a free download. Also on 8 February, the album title was revealed as Gloves, and fans could pre-order it signed. On 13 February, the video for "Logic" premiered on Video Hits.
Gloves was released on 23 April 2010 in Australia and 31 May 2010 in the rest of the world. Three more singles have been released from the album since its release: "Back and Forth", "Like Magic" and "Volcanic". All three have also had accompanying music videos. In June 2010, the band completed their first headlining tour since late 2008; supported by Perth band Tim & Jean and Sydney band Chaingang. Shortly afterwards, they would play a variety of festivals, including Splendour in the Grass and Canberra festival Stonefest. They also played the Australian leg of the 2011 Big Day Out festival. March and April 2011 will see the band tour Australia once again, this time as the main support for Sydney musician Sparkadia.
"Catapult" was recently announced as the fifth and final single from Gloves.
- 2007: Yes Yes Vindictive AUS #28
- 2010: Gloves AUS #20
Charts and certifications
Year Song ARIA Singles Chart UK Indie Singles Chart Triple J Hottest 100 UK Singles Chart Album 2007 "Just a Song About Ping Pong" 12 10 27 – Yes Yes Vindictive "Get What You Want" 27 1 77 121 "Leave It Alone" 62 3 – 133 2008 "Two for My Seconds" 93 – – – 2010 "Logic" 47 – – – Gloves "Back and Forth" 84 – – – "Like Magic" – – – – "Volcanic" – – – – 2011 "Catapult" – – – –
Operator Please's first single "Just a Song About Ping Pong" reached its peak of #12 on the ARIA Singles Chart (as of 27 August 2007) and has reached #10 on the UK Indie Chart. The next single "Get What You Want" debuted at #40 on 5 November. It has thus far peaked at #27. Their Australian album release Yes Yes Vindictive has so far charted at #9 on the UK Indie Album Chart.
There are three former official band members: Kieran Richards, Stephanie Jonske and Sarah Gardiner. Gardiner, an original member and co-writer on Yes Yes Vindictive, left the band in early 2008 after a two-month break from touring.
- Good Vibrations Festival(2007)
- Big Day Out (2007)
- Great Escape Festival (2007)
- Camden Crawl 2007
- Reading and Leeds Festivals (2007)
- Splendour in the Grass (2007)
- Homebake (2007)
- Coca-Cola Live 'n Local Up Close (2007)
- Falls Festival (2007)
- Big Day Out (2008)
- Saint Kilda Festival (2008)
- Hurricane Festival (2008)
- Glastonbury Festival (2008)
- Southside Festival (2008)
- Wakestock Festival (2008)
- Roxy Festival (2008)
- Slottsfjell Festival (2008)
- Melt Festival! (2008)
- Grazzhopper Festival (2008)
- Festival Of The Sun (2008)
- Fisher's Ghost Festival (2008)
- Valley Fiesta (2008)
- Dusty Days (Wagga Wagga) (2009)
- Clipsal 500 (2009)
- Northbeat (2009)
- Future Music Festival (2010)
- MySpace Secret Show (2010)
- Splendour in the Grass (2010)
- One Movement Festival (2010)
- Pyramid Rock Festival (2010)
- Soundscape Festival (2011)
- Big Day Out (2011)
- 21st Annual ARIA Awards - 28 October 2007
- The Sideshow - 3 November 2007
- Rove - 18 November 2007
- Sunrise - 16 December 2007
- Later With Jools Holland 2 May 2008
- Rove - 15 June 2008
- BBC Sound - 14 June 2008
- Virgin Blue Commercial ("Get What You Want" was played during commercial) (2007)
- Basement Sessions (2007)
- Hey Hey It's Saturday (2010)
- Eclipse Music TV (2010)
- rage guest programmer 22–23 May (2010)
- Good News Week (2010
- Chuck Season 4 Episode 8 "Chuck Versus The Fear of Death" 'Zero, Zero' (2010)
Awards and nominations
Year Award Work Result 2007 Breakthrough Artist - Single "Just a Song About Ping Pong" Won Best Pop Release "Just a Song About Ping Pong" Nominated 2008 Breakthrough Artist - Album Yes Yes Vindictive Nominated Best Pop Release Yes Yes Vindictive Nominated
- ^ "Operator Please". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/events/ausmusicmonth_06/next_crop/operator_please.htm. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- ^ Braithwaite, Alyssa (8 October 2007). "Ping Pong proves a winner for indie band Operator Please". News Limited. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,23663,22548616-5007184,00.html. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- ^ "A&R Worldwide Reports". Radio & Records. http://www.lelandgrant.com/anr.pdf. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- ^ Mathewson, Catriona (2 August 2007). "Give us more Operator Please". The Courier Mail. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22172422-5003421,00.html. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "The NME Chart". MTV UK. http://www.mtv.co.uk/channel/mtv2/shows/the_nme_chart_vote. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "Top 50 Most Requested Songs". Channel [V]. http://channelv.com.au/V/Requests.aspx. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "Playlist Saturday, 18 August 2007". ABC. http://www.abc.net.au/rage/archive/s2007722.htm. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "Operator Please - Just A Song About Ping Pong". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmHqsSblXg0. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- ^ "Listen To This: Our New Obsession". Perez Hilton. http://perezhilton.com/?p=1487. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "Listen To This: The New Wave!". Perez Hilton. http://perezhilton.com/?p=956. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "Operator Please UK Tour Dates". Music-News Unsigned. http://www.music-news.com/ShowNews.asp?nItemID=14816. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ a b c "Singles Charts". Australian Record Industry Association. http://www.ariacharts.com.au/pages/charts_display.asp?chart=1U50. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ "ARIA Nominees Announced". SameSame.com.au. http://www.samesame.com.au/news/local/1368/ARIA-Nominees-Announced.htm. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
- ^ "Believing the hype.". The Courier Mail. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=916604&id=879000706. Retrieved 8 February 2007.
- ^ Australian Top 50 ARIA Albums Chart. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 18 November 2007.
- ^ "Zero Zero (Operator Please)". JPlay. http://www.jplay.com.au/JSite/ViewSong.aspx?SongID=11087. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
- ^ "Kaiser Chiefs / Wolf And Cub / Operator Please". Rave Magazine. http://www.ravemagazine.com.au/content/view/4807/82/. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- ^ "All Shows for Operator Please". MySpace. http://collect.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bandprofile.listAllShows&friendid=42470861&n=Operator+Please. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
- ^ The Ones to Watch?, stv.tv blog, 7 September
- ^ Operator Please Album number 2 update, Operator Please's YouTube Channel, 9 April 2009
- ^ "Uk Indie Singles Charts". Official Charts Company. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/indiesingles.shtml. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
- ^ "top forty news". top forty.com. http://www.take40.com/news/14344/Operator-Please-Keyboardist-Quits. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
- ^ "nme.com news". nme.com. http://www.nme.com/news/operator-please/35989. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
- ^ "Operator Please Play Valley Fiesta". B5Media. http://www.ozmusicscene.com/operator-please-play-valley-fiesta/. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
- Official website
- Operator Please on Myspace
- Operator Please on Twitter
- Operator Please (old account)'s channel on YouTube
- Operator Please (current account)'s channel on YouTube
- Interview with SUPERSWEET, October 2007
- Interview with FasterLouder, January 2008
- Collection of photographs of Operator Please in concert
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