Harvey Danger was an American indie rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1993, and rose to prominence in 1998 with the single “Flagpole Sitta”, which is also used as the theme tune to British sitcom, Peep Show. On August 29, 2009, the band played its final show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle.
Harvey Danger began in 1992 with University of Washington classmates Jeff Lin and Aaron Huffman deciding “it might be fun to start a band.” Taking their name from a phrase graffitied onto the wall of the UW student newspaper office, the duo played house parties and bars as they were until the following year, when they invited Evan Sult to be their drummer. Despite his complete lack of drumming experience, Sult agreed, bringing along his own similarly-inexperienced classmate Sean Nelson.
The foursome played their first show on April 21, 1994 at the now-defunct Lake Union Pub; Sult and Nelson, both under 21, were only permitted entry during the set. That summer, the band moved into Nelson’s student house together and began holding band practices in the basement. The band had little money and their drum set for their first few shows consisted of nothing more than a laundry bucket, 3 hubcaps, and a jar of pickles. More shows at the Lake Union Pub and other low-rent Seattle clubs followed, leading to exposure in The Seattle Times.
As the band began playing more shows at increasingly reputable venues, their songwriting gained momentum. In 1995, the band produced a six-song demo tape, sold at shows for $3. When three-quarters of the group became unemployed in 1996, they decided to devote yet more attention to the band, moving to another house and renting a rehearsal space. Their shows continued to improve, to the point of becoming regular weekend performers at the Crocodile Cafe.
The band recorded a three-track demo tape with producer John Goodmanson, which failed to draw attention from uninterested major labels, but found its way to Greg Glover, a London Records intern who ran his own small label, the Arena Rock Recording Co.. Glover expressed interest in releasing a 7″ single, and Harvey Danger provided him with an additional three songs—including “Flagpole Sitta”—also recorded with Goodmanson. On the strength of these, Glover agreed to bankroll a full-length album.