The Stands were an English band from Liverpool.
The Stands were formed by Howie Payne in 2002. There was no fixed line up in the band originally and local musicians Martyn Campbell (Richard Ashcroft, Rain) Sean Payne (Zutons) Russel Pritchard (Zutons) and Robby Stevenson (Hokum Clones) all contributed to early shows. Payne recruited local acoustic performer Steve Pilgrim to play drums and Luke Thomson on Guitar. The trio along with Martin Cambell on Bass recorded a selection of demos at Parr St Studios in Liverpool. Payne reportedly financed the demos by roadying for The Zutons on the first UK tour.
In September 2002 the ITV program This Is Music was in Liverpool to film bands who played The Bandwagon night at The Zanzibar Club in the city. Originally The Stands were not on the bill until the rest of the bands appearing petitioned the producers of the show to add The Stands to the Program. The Stands were added to the program and performed All Years Leaving. Russ Pritchard (Zutons) played Bass. It was at this show that Dean Ravera approached the band and asked to play bass in the band. Ravera joined the band a week later and the band were invited to support The Coral on the autumn UK tour.
During this tour Payne received a phone call from Noel Gallagher. Gallagher had been given a copy of the Parr St demos by Martyn Campbell at the Oasis Old Trafford Cricket Ground show and invited The Stands to support Oasis at their Liverpool Royal Court gig in December 2002. After the show Oasis invited the band to play two nights at Birmingham's N.I.A arena. In the early months of 2003 The Stands toured with The Burn, Alfie, Stephen Fretwell, The Zutons and The Coral. The Stands were also invited to play Glastonbury, V Festival, T in the park and two shows with Oasis at Dublin's Point Theater. The band was still without management or a record deal at this point.
The Stands signed to Echo Records in the spring of 2003 and began recording their debut album All Years Leaving at Noel Gallagher's Wheeler End recording studio. Noel Gallagher and Bill Ryder both play on the record. Their debut single "When This River Rolls Over You" was released in August 2003.
During the recording of All Years Leaving The Stands joined Jet on their Get Born Tour in the UK and Europe. The two bands formed a friendship that resulted in Jet inviting The Stands to join them on their homecoming tour of Australia. All Years Leaving was released in February 2004 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 28. The album produced three Top 40 singles in the UK Singles Chart.
2004 saw The Stands tour with Gomez, Paul Weller, and along with their first headline tours of the UK and Europe the band played their first US shows in L.A's Troubador and El Ray clubs. The Stands again played the Glastonbury, V and T festivals along with The Isle of Wight Festival and the Asagari Jam Festival in Japan. In October 2004 The Stands relocated to Los Angeles, California to record their second album, Horse Fabulous with record producer Tom Rothrock at Sunset Sound Studios. Shortly after the recording of this album, Steve Pilgrim left the band to pursue a solo career.
The band continued with drummer Graeme Robinson replacing Pilgrim for their 2005 US tour supporting Brendon Benson. The Stands returned to the UK and joined Oasis for their European tour. During a return break to the UK from this tour Luke Thomson left the band and was replaced by Paul Molloy (Skylarks,Zutons) on guitar for the remaining shows. "Do It Like You Like", the band's fifth single, entered the UK Top 30 in May 2005, and the band embarked on a second tour of the U.S. and toured the UK festival circuit through the summer Horse Fabulous was released on 25 July 2005 and spent one week in the UK Albums Chart.
In the summer of 2005 Chrysalis Group announced a restructure of the Echo label resulting in a change of direction at the label. The Stands LP Horse Fabulous had been released only two weeks prior to this announcement it is likely the changes affected the albums promotion at company level. After parting company with the Echo Label, The Stands embarked on a fourth UK tour in September 2005, climaxing in their final concert at the Carling Academy Islington in London. The band broke up in November 2005.
Post split 
Howie Payne released his debut solo album Bright Light Ballads, produced by Ethan Johns in April 2009 under his full name Howard Eliott Payne.
Steve Pilgrim is now drumming for Paul Weller, has toured and recorded with former Cast frontman John Power. He has released two solo albums and collaborated with Japanese folktronica artist Akeboshi.
Luke Thomson and Steve Pilgrim played together in Cuckolds from 2005 to 2006. Luke is currently working on a solo project.
Dean Ravera played electric and double bass on Payne's solo album. He now plays double bass, keys and drums for folk group The Unthanks and played double bass on their fourth album, Last. He appears as double bassist on the debut album Kite by Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell, which was released on 10 October 2011, and also on Bill Ryder-Jones debut EP A Leave Taking Soundtrack and album If....