Not to be confused with the American alternative rock outfit of the same name, Polar Bear are a British experimental post-jazz five-piece influenced by the likes of Beethoven, Stevie Wonder, and Björk. Formed in London in 2004 by drummer Seb Rochford, previously an early member of Babyshambles, saxophonists Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart, double bassist Tom Herbert, and electronic musician Leafcutter John, the band first attracted attention with its 2004 debut album, Dim Lit, whose eclectic fusion of avant jazz, folk, electronica, and punk earned them a nomination for Best Band at the BBC Jazz Awards. A year later, they received their highest-profile accolade to date, when their sophomore effort, Held on the Tips of Fingers, was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize award. After headlining Noel Fielding's Mighty Boosh Festival in 2008, they released their self-titled third album, and followed it up two years later with Peepers. The band is part of the F-IRE Collective, a jazz music community that also serves as a record label, while all members perform in various other groups including Acoustic Ladyland, the Invisible, and Room of Katinas. ~ Jon O'Brien
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