Illford started in April 1999 as the result of a musical collaboration and long term friendship between Philippe and Nicolas. Philippe had been a guitar player and a singer in various swiss bands such as Marvel and Ventolin. Nicolas had been the guitar player and singer in The Unexpected and Grammar And Use. The two had been working in the same record shop for months, and had often discussed the possibility of playing music together. One day, they finally decided to give it a try, and started working on a song that Philippe had just written. Nicolas added some guitar parts, and everything began to take shape in a way that surprised and enthralled both musicians. Soon they were playing as often as they could, building songs in the comfort of their appartments.
A few weeks later, Philippe and Nicolas went out looking for a drummer. The first one they tried was good, but was too busy to play regularly. The second one was good too... yet played in another band and was very busy as well... Then Nicolas decided to ask Nik, a friend of his who had been playing drums and percussions in various bands such as L.t.s and Funfisch, while remaining unsure whether Nik's jazzlike drumming would be appropriate for the kind of music that Illford was playing... It was indeed, and Nik Joined the band in November 1999. The three of them started playing together regularly, thinking that they would do without a bass player for the time being.
The perspective of live shows and recordings made them decide otherwise. Again, they tried a bass player who was already playing in another band. But his style was not to please the trio. In February 2000, Philippe suggested that they tried playing with Giuliano, a friend of theirs who had been playing guitar in Marvel and Ventolin with Philippe a few years ago. Taking on the bass, Giuliano quickly became an essential part of the band's sound. Now a quartet, Illford began to develop songs in a more elaborate and efficient way..........
May 2002: first split single release B/W Minsk, Philippe's solo ambient project,
July 2003 saw the release of Illford's first album on Snowcat Records.
Quatuor de Lausanne, Illford voit le jour en 1999. A l’origine du groupe, les guitaristes et chanteurs Philippe et Nicolas se rencontrent dans un magasin de disques où ils travaillent tous deux pendant un temps. Philippe avait participé à l’aventure de Marvel, groupe de rock indie lausannois qui eut son heure de gloire au milieu des années 90. Nicolas avait fait partie durant la même période de The Unexpected, groupe pop nyonnais au long cours. Au fil des mois, les deux musiciens sont rejoints par le bassiste Giuliano, autrefois guitariste au sein de Marvel, et par Nik, un batteur dont la pratique du jazz le fait participer à divers groupes de la région bernoise.
Synthèse de ces différentes expériences, Illford pratique un rock majoritairement instrumental, influencé par les expérimentations post-rock de la scène américaine. A la différence que le quatuor privilégie des structures presque narratives, ses longs morceaux à la lenteur hypnotique se développant de manière organique, ménageant de nombreuses ruptures et variations au sein d’un même titre, sans flirter pour autant avec le rock progressif.
Premier single du groupe, un split 45tours avec Minsk (projet solo de Philippe) est sorti en mai 2002 sur Snowcat Records.
En juillet 2003 est paru le premier album du groupe sur Snowcat Records.