Formed in 1995 by singer Ruth-Ann, keyboardist Tim Kellet and beat-master Robin Taylor-Firth. Kellet was a member of Simply Red for their first nine years, as well as an occasional collaborator with UK pop-soul band Lighthouse Family. Taylor-Firth was one of the original members of Nightmare on Wax. Ruth-Ann used to sing in local bands in Sutherland where Ruth is from. She had not been singing professionally before Olive was formed. Kellet was playing at a gig in Portugal with Durutti Column where he came across Ruth's voice which he then sampled. He loved it so much he asked Durutti Column "who is the vocalist I'm making tape loops of?"