Although formed in 2005, all three members of retro-futurist group the Aliens had previously played together in the Beta Band, a cult-favorite Scottish outfit. Singers/guitarists Steve Mason and Gordon Anderson formed the Betas in Edinburgh in 1996. Originally dubbed the Pigeons, the duo added bassist Steve Duffield, drummer Robin Jones, and DJ/keyboardist John Maclean during production on their landmark debut EP, Champion Versions. Soon after completing those recording sessions, Anderson fell ill and left the Beta Band, subsequently cutting a series of self-released LPs under the name Lone Pigeon (including 28 Secret Tracks, Moses, and Auckley Craw). In the meantime, the Beta Band emerged as darlings of the international music press, culminating in the 1998 release of their classic The Three E.P.'s.