As the son of keyboardist Barry Andrews (XTC, Shriekback), the Veils' Finn Andrews knew nothing else except a world full of music and art. He had plans to become a painter as a young lad; however, a move to his grandmother's abode in Devonport, New Zealand (near Auckland) with his mother pointed Andrews in a different direction during his teenage years. He frequented the local folk scene to escape the ho-hum of country living. Once consumed with his father's electronic work from the 1980s, Andrews was now interested in Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits.
In 2001, Andrews (vocals/guitar), then 18, returned to London. He befriended Ben Woollacott (drums), Adam Kinsella (bass), and Oliver Drake (guitar), and in a few months time the Veils were born. By fall, Rough Trade's Geoff Travis signed the foursome to the Blanco y Negro imprint, and immediately the Veils began working on their first album. They issued the single "Guiding Light" in 2002; however, contractual disparities and artistic differences with Blanco y Negro turned into a two-year battle until Travis signed the Veils to Rough Trade proper in mid-2003. Luckily, the Veils were able to keep songs recorded during that time. A second single, the lovelorn "Lavinia," was well received at indie rock radio in the U.K.. Shared dates with the Raveonettes, Beth Orton, and British Sea Power preceded the spring 2004 release of the Veils' debut, The Runaway Found.
The album had only been out two months when Andrews announced the departure of Woollacott, Kinsella, and Drake. In late June 2004, Andrews explained via the Veils' website (www.theveils.com) that a second album was already in the works, but that the original members would not be involved. Instead, he had returned to New Zealand, where he met up with former high-school classmates Sophia Burn (bass) and Liam Gerard (piano, organ), who then went back with him to London to begin Nux Vomica, the Veils' sophomore release, an album that then came out in the winter of 2006 (and the spring of 2007 in the U.S.). For the accompanying tour Andrews added drummer Henning Dietz and guitarist Dan Raishbrook to the band.