JJ72 is an independent Irish rock band from Dublin. After forming in 1996, they signed to the Lakota Records label in 1999, publishing two successful albums before separating in 2006.
The group was formed in 1996 by singer and guitarist Mark Greaney and drummer Fergal Matthews, while studying at Belvedere College. Greaney grew up in Dublin, where he lived for a time next to Phil Lynott. Matthews is from County Meath>. The name JJ72 derives from a window at Belvedere College, which consisted of 72 jars of jams. They quote Nirvana, Mudhoney and Joy Division as inspirations. After auditioning several bass players, they fall back on their schoolmate Garvin Smith in 1996>. After a few shows, Smith leaves, and Greaney and Matthews again audition other bass players. Two bassists will play briefly in the group; in 1997, Greaney and Matthews enter the studio in duet to record their first demo. They send it to local labels, without much success.
In 1998, they dropped their studies to devote themselves to their group; they play a concert at the Behan pub in Dublin, and receive a request to go on local television. They then recruit Hilary Woods, whom Greaney has known for several years now. Although recently on bass, Woods became a permanent member in January 1999>. They record a new demo, and will even have an article in Select> magazine. This small success attracts the interest of the label Lakota Records, branch of Sony, which will sign the group in mid-1999>.
Several demos, Pillows, October Swimmer, Snow and Long Way South were released between 1999 and 2000. October Swimmer was published in November 1999, and named "single of the week" on the BBC Radio 1 by DJ Mark Radcliffe >>>. They are supported by The Dandy Warhols and My Vitriol>. Long Way South, "released in May 2000, is a hit that reaches the top of the British rankings, and leads them to play Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds later in the year.