Friendly Fires are back in town

PUBLISHED: 11:03 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Friendly Fires are at the Alban Arena next month

Friendly Fires are at the Alban Arena next month

THREE-piece pop band Friendly Fires have taken time out from a world tour to talk about their beloved home city of St Albans. Friendly Fires - comprising old St Albans Boys School friends Edd Gibson, Ed Macfarlane and Jack Savidge - took the music world

THREE-piece pop band Friendly Fires have taken time out from a world tour to talk about their beloved home city of St Albans.

Friendly Fires - comprising old St Albans Boys School friends Edd Gibson, Ed Macfarlane and Jack Savidge - took the music world by storm last year with their self-titled debut album, which was recently nominated for the Mercury Music Prize award.

But despite their new-found fame, the talented trio, who played some of their earliest gigs at The Horn pub in St Albans, have remained true to their roots and recently decided to organise an intimate Alban Arena gig to keep their home fans on board.

Guitarist Edd Gibson said that maintaining a strong St Albans following was important and added: "A lot of my friends and family still live in St Albans and, because I live in London now, I love to spend any free time I have in St Albans. It would be a dark day indeed if the city were to abandon us."

Edd, who formed his first band with Ed and Jack at the age of 14, said that he was feeling surprisingly anxious about next month's Alban Arena gig: "It's going to be a strange one. I've had the pleasure of seeing Paul Merton, Sooty and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe there before. I hope we don't ruin the legacy! There's also something nerve-wracking about recognising too many faces in an audience."

Friendly Fires played one of Glastonbury's biggest stages at this year's festival but, according to Edd, cosy venues such as the Arena are more to their taste: "We had a diabolical first Glastonbury last year - I still wake up in cold sweats and tears when I think about it. Festivals do allow you to play to a crowd who may have never heard you before but I prefer the atmosphere of a smaller show."

Friendly Fires come from a tradition of successful St Albans bands such as Enter Shikari and Edd said that he still thinks the city's got a hot music scene: "We really like Chris Clark, an electronic artist - he was a big influence on Ed when it came to music production. And I'd urge people to check out our friend Rob Lee, aka Wax Stag, who makes his own hyper-melodic music."

Friendly Fires, who still record and rehearse in St Albans, will be playing the Alban Arena to a sold-out crowd on September 3 and to find out more about the band, visit www.wearefriendlyfires.com or www.myspace.com/friendlyfires

CHARLOTTE MORGAN

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