Bureau and Daggers (2005–2008)
Hutchcraft met Adam Anderson outside a nightclub in late 2005 whilst their friends were fighting. Too drunk to join in, they started talking about music and realised they had similar tastes; they decided to start a band. Over the next few months they exchanged music and lyrics via e-mail, before forming Bureau in March 2006. They performed their first gig as a quintet in May at The Music Box in Manchester, and were shortly afterwards signed to independent record label High Voltage Sounds. They released their first double A-side single "After Midnight" / "Dollhouse" in November, which was made Single of the Week on Xfm.
In 2007, Bureau disbanded and soon after Hutchcraft and Anderson formed the band Daggers. They signed to Label Fandango and in October released another double A-side single "Money" / "Magazine", which despite failing to chart, was nominated for the Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize. Throughout 2008, Daggers continued to build a following, and began working with successful producers Biff Stannard and Richard X, but after a disastrous A&R showcase in London in September, Theo and Adam returned to Manchester to reflect on the band's future. They recorded a mournful ballad called "Unspoken" together, and they immediately realised that this was the sound that they wanted to develop as a duo.
After informing the rest of the band that it was finished, they went on a short break to Verona, Italy, where they claim they discovered the genre Disco Lento. Daggers announced on their Myspace page in January 2009 that they had split up.
Now called Hurts, Hutchcraft and Anderson recorded an amateur music video for a song called "Wonderful Life" with a female dancer who had responded to an advert in a shop window. After they uploaded the video to their YouTube channel in April 2009, it quickly went viral. They were signed to RCA imprint Major Label in July. The video has since had over 21 million views on YouTube, putting it in the top 200 most watched videos on the website.
Hurts finished fourth on the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, and Zane Lowe premiered new song "Blood, Tears & Gold" as his "Hottest Record in the World" soon after. Hurts performed their first gig on 22 January at the Michalsky Stylenite in Berlin, followed by a gig on 22 February at St Phillips Church in Salford, where they performed eight songs. This was quickly followed by gigs at Wiltons Music Hall, London, and in Berlin and Cologne in Germany.
Following massive success on Greek radio, Hurts were invited to perform at the MAD Video Music Awards ceremony in Athens in front of 11,000 people on 15 June. Also in June, it was announced that Kylie Minogue was recording with the band. She recorded a verse and backing vocals for the song "Devotion", which was to be included on the band's album. Hurts recorded a performance of Kylie's 1994 hit "Confide In Me" for newspaper The Sun's website, and has since been a regular inclusion on their gig setlists. Kylie later returned the compliment by recording a performance of "Wonderful Life" in Radio 1's Live Lounge.
Hurts' debut album Happiness was released in September 2010, reaching the Top 10 in 12 European countries and selling over 1 million copies worldwide. Hurts have also sold more than 1 million singles worldwide. Happiness debuted at number four in the UK Albums Chart, selling 25,000 copies in its first week on sale and making it the fastest selling debut album by a band in 2010.