After David Keenan (guitar, vocals) departed from 18 Wheeler in 1994, he formed the Telstar Ponies in Glasgow, Scotland, with singer Rachel Devine, Gavin Laird (guitar, vocals), and former Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare. In 1995, the Telstar Ponies released their first album, In the Space of a Few Minutes. The Telstar Ponies were originally viewed by some critics as a weak knock-off of Teenage Fanclub. However, by their second LP, 1996's Voices From the New Music, the band had become more experimental, not bound by any genre boundaries. The group's intense live performances, often involving improvisation, helped inspire post-rock acts such as Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor!. But when O'Hare and Laird left the band in 1997, they stopped recording; instead, they unleashed side projects like Phantom Engineer, lonecop, Macrocosmica, Fiend, and Rainspies. The group reunited in 1999 and added bassist Raymond Prior to their lineup.