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Mat excerpt from Uncut, April 99

Mat osman went to the school on the other side of town. Born in Welwyn Garden City october 9, 1967, he moved to Sussex due to his parents' work (hismother was a primary school teacher, and his father was "a commuter -I have no idea what he did. I haven't seen him for 20 years.")

Unlike Brett, Mat was neither sporty nor rebellious, but the quiet academic type who "never had a lot of fun." His family were not particularly musical - the first sounds he remembers are his aunt's ELO and Dr Hook records, his parents' Carpenters collection, and the smoothing sounds of Radio 2. The first record he bought for himself was Abba's Arrival, closely followed by Blondie and The Jam. "That was as far our as it got. I never got into punk."

Osman found Haywards Heath every big as soul-destroying as Anderson. His escape plan involved spending all his heenage money on musical instruments, with the intention of becoming a pop star. He and Andeson met in 1984 at the age of 16, at Haywards Heath Sixth Form College. But Mat already knew of him. "In towns like that, anyone who has any vague abnormality is a legend."

At first, Brett was wary of Mat. "He came from a different school to me, that we were rivals with. At the end of term, there would be loads of kids smashing the shit out of each other in the local park. But after a while I became unwary of Mat. He was a bit of a character, a bit of goth when I met him, but he was always really into music, alwas the kid that walked around college with a bass guitar, always talking about bands, and i found him really stimulating."

Along with a Bowie fixation, they shared a love of The Smiths. Morrissey's doomed provncial romanticism struck a major chord. Brett and Mat would go to see them whenever they came to Brighton, and on one occasion ventured as far as Paris, where after the show, Brett first came face to face with his idol.

Partly in emulation of the Morrissey/Marr alliace, an Anderson/Osman song-writing partnership was quickly formed. "I spent half of my life in his bedroom learning to play stuff," says Osman. " We used to sit in college and write," adds the singer. "He had a band called Paint It Black, and I joined them for about a week and played some dodgy goth guitar."

Before long, the duo formed their own band, a Housemartins-type indie combo called Geoff, featuring Brett on guitar, Mat on bass, Danny Wilder on drums, and Gareth Perry on vocals (now the manager of a branch of Our Price). Geoff mutated into Suave And Elegant (later the name of a Suede fanzine), this time with Brett as lead singer. They also started a comedy band called Bruiser, whose songs were all about football and beer.

"Geoff played a couple of gigs to half a person," says Brett. "We went through a hippy phase, and had all these hippy songs with funny tunes like 'String The Years Together Like Beads" in homage to te Beatles. Absolutely fucking awful.

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