Soil were formed in Manchester in 1984, by North Manchester school-friends, Kevin Siddall (songwriter/guitar/vocals), Lee Bennett (bass guitar), and Rob Kerford (drums) and Moss Side dwelling Manchester University student, Matthew Karas (songwriter/vocals/keyboards/harmonica/guitar).
Kerford left just before the debut performance, and Matthew's neighbour, Ravi Low-Beer, stood in on drums. After that, auditions for a new drummer started, and Gary Farrell, from Stretford, joined within a few weeks.
This was the line-up who later supported The Smiths in Kilburn, on Oct 23rd 1986, the night they recorded Rank. Soil also supported Easterhouse on a short tour. Soil played at many music venues around Manchester throughout 1986, and regularly appeared at The Boardwalk. Their only release was a flexi-single on the cover of Debris fanzine, edited by Dave Haslam. The track, "Front Room" was played on BBC Radio 1 by John Peel several times, as well as on BBC Radio Manchester and Red Rose Radio.
Soon after the Smiths concert, both Gary Farrell and Lee Bennett left the group. Matthew and Kevin played a single concert with backing tracks before recruiting Phil Morris and Ged O'Brien, who played at their final performances at The Boardwalk in 1987.