From their inception in late 2003, the band's energetic live performances earned them a hardcore fanbase after playing for only a few months on the Manchester music scene. In 2004 the band were signed to Island Records and spent the year touring the UK and recording their first studio album with producer Rob Schnapf in Los Angeles. In 2005 Nine Black Alps toured the UK extensively, promoting the release of their debut album, Everything Is on 13th June 2005. The band supported the Kaiser Chiefs for part of their UK tour in April 2005, and later Weezer in August. The band also performed at 2005's Glastonbury festival, T in the Park and Reading and Leeds Festival. The same year Arctic Monkeys played a gig with the band for Radio 1 at Manchester Academy. Also in 2005 Nine Black Alps performed in Japan at the winter SonicMania Festival in February, and later that year returned to play the famous Club Quattro Venues in Tokyo and Osaka. The band also spent time touring northern Europe, including France, Holland and Germany and also supported the Kaiser Chiefs in Scandinavia. During February 2006 Nine Black Alps set off for a final Everything Is UK tour with their Manchester friends The Longcut as support. This was Nine Black Alps' largest and most successful UK tour to date, and included sold-out headline shows at Manchester Academy and an NME Shockwaves Awards Show at Hammersmith Palais.
Their first U.S. single was Cosmopolitan; their album Everything Is was released in America on February 28, 2006. They played to a large audience in March, 2006, at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX. Nine Black Alps then toured America extensively during 2006, including a performance at the Coachella Festival on 28th April that year.
On 18 October 2006, NME.com reported that they were working on the follow up to Everything Is, recording with Oasis and Jet producer Dave Sardy in Los Angeles: "According to a posting on Nineblackalps.com the band and Dave Sardy will furrow their brows, vent their spleens and bleed their hearts into the production of a glorious technicolour audiophonic dreamscape."
Nine Black Alps played on the NME Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire, in August 2007. The band's first release of 2007 came in the form of Pocket Full Of Stars, a song written by the band and Hayley Hutchinson for inclusion in Surf's Up Music From The Motion Picture soundtrack. The first single taken from the new album was Burn Faster released on July 23 and the second single, Bitter End, was released on October 15.
The band's second album, Love/Hate, was released on 29 October 2007.
In November 2007 Nine Black Alps supported Biffy Clyro on the Scottish leg of their tour and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The band toured the UK through 2007, and again in January and February 2008.
Having spent much of 2008 writing new material, Nine Black Alps are currently recording their third full-length album with producer Dave Eringa, which is planned for release in 2009.
Nine Black Alps are an English alternative rock band from Manchester, named after a line in The Couriers by Sylvia Plath and fronted by Sam Forrest.