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“We started a band, cos we were useless at football”

Published: April, 2007

Ash-Official gave Mark a shout to find out the latest news as “You Can’t Have It All” hit the shops…

Hello Mark. So the single is finally out.
It is indeed. And we’re all very nervous about it!

Have you bought a copy?
I have actually. I got the 7-inch on Monday in Belfast. It was very reasonably priced at 99p. So if anyone wants one, they should be well aware of that!

Do you always buy a copy of your own records?
Usually we get them free from the record company, but because we haven’t been about in the last few weeks, we haven’t got hold of copies. So the first time we actually saw the physical product was at the instore in Belfast. It was weird, we walked into the store and were staring at a shelf of them right in front of us.

Did the Belfast instore go well?
Actually, we had a power cut. We were about halfway through the fourth song and I think we melted the circuit breaker. There was a 15 minute gap where we stood about while the tech guys ran around trying to get it fixed. Luckily they found an alternate power source. Rick reckons they must’ve found a wind turbine or something! But at least they got it sorted eventually and we played the rest of the show. We found out afterwards they were running the entire rig and monitors and PA off one 13 amp plug! I’m not sure whose bright idea that was.

And you had another gig in Northern Ireland last week.
That’s right, yeah. We did it for this BBC Northern Ireland radio show called ATL. It was kind of like a homecoming show, with lots of competition winners. But about half of the crowd were our families.

Is sorting guest lists a problem at Northern Irish shows?
Oh yeah, that’s always a problem there. You try to tell your parents to keep it under control and then they arrive with a list of about 40 people! But what can you do? Actually, because our guest list was so big last week, they had to open a back bar just to fit everyone in! But the show was really fun.

So you’re in the UK all this week?
Yeah, we’re doing the instores. We were in Manchester yesterday and then today is London and then tomorrow we’re doing the Camden Crawl as secret headliners. That’ll be good. The last time we played London was ULU and that was one of my favourite gigs that we’ve ever done. If it’s half good as that tomorrow, it’ll be brilliant.

Have you heard any early chart position for the single?
We heard the midweek was number 12. If it can hold that position that would be great. We’ve got the instores and some television things this week, so we’ve just got to cross our fingers and hope it stays up there. I think anything inside the Top 20 would be really good.

What TV things have you got coming up?
We were on Popworld last weekend, doing a live performance of the single. And then this weekend Tim and Rick are on there again doing a comedy interview with a sock rabbit.

With a what?
A sock rabbit. It pops up from underneath the table with jokes and abuse. I stood and watched the interview while it was being filmed and it was very funny. That should be on Popworld on Channel 4 on Saturday. And we’re on Soccer AM on Saturday morning as well. We’ve never done that before, but I’ll be able to talk about Villa, Tim can talk about Arsenal and Rick can talk about Liverpool.

Don’t they do a penalty shoot-out thing on there?
Do they? Oh God, I hope not. That’d be shocking. I’ve got two left feet. That’s why we started a band, cos we were useless at football! But then straight after Soccer Am we’re going off to some forest to shoot the video for “Polaris”.

Ah, so we can confirm that “Polaris” is the next single?
That’s right, yeah. It’ll be out in June.

Does the video have a story line?
Yeah, it’s shown from the eyes of these children. There are two teams of kids having an imaginary war fight in a forest, with sticks and stuff. Only it transforms so that you can actually see what they’re imagining - with proper explosions and guns going off. It’s supposed to be about loss of innocence. It’s by the same guy who did the last video and the treatment just sounded really interesting.

What will your role be?
We’ll be amongst the trees somewhere playing, I think. But hopefully we’ll get to check out the explosions too. Although, knowing me, I might end up getting a leg blown off. And then my footballing abilities would be even worse!