Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Ross Thompson arrived in Manchester, carrying a guitar and the Neil Young back catalogue. He needed a band, and scoured the bohemian suburbs of south Manchester until he noticed a rock group with a decent guitar player. He lured Pete away from their clutches with talk of drinking and failed relationships, and they spent several years playing incredibly sad songs under the name of Blind Atlas.
In the Manchester years they become a staple opening band, including for the likes of The Bees, Blitzen Trapper, Megafaun, The Acorn, Buffalo Tom, The Bowerbirds, Liam Frost and The Features. Blind Atlas celebrated the release of their debut album Kodiak Bear with a live session on Bob Harris' BBC Radio 2 show in 2012.
The same year, they moved from Manchester to North London, but the backline escaped across the Thames, never to be seen again. Ross and Pete asked Charlie to quit basketball to play bass, to which he agreed, and Andrew heard about the drum opening through the dark web, so hitchhiked from Japan to fill it.