Their third album, the top 10 Get To Heaven, has seen the four-piece combine the best of their first two albums into a work widely considered their best to date.
While bassist Jeremy Pritchard says he didn’t read any of the reviews this time round, he still picked up that they were largely very positive: ‘People seem to regard it as our biggest move towards pop, which is odd to me as we didn’t have those concerns when we made it, and the subject matter is pretty uncompromising. It speaks highly of everyone,’ he laughs.
The album takes in some dark stuff – pretty much about the terrible state the world is in.
‘It’s pretty savage,’ confirms Jeremy. ‘It’s not a lovely document by any means, and we didn’t want it to be. We wanted it to reflect the world we found ourselves in in 2014, and I think that actually it spoke to people.’
The band were keen to take the best parts of both their previous albums – their ‘cryptic’ debut Man Alive, and follow-up Arc, where they attempted ‘to let people in to what we do, rather than try keep them at arm’s length.’
This time is was: ‘hard, bright, vital, quick, that was the remit for this one’.
‘The kind of dichotomy that was obvious to the three of us when (frontman) Jon (Higgs) was bringing in lyrics, was that they were pretty dark and reflecting on world events, and we could counter that by making what is ostensibly a party record.
‘It was something we always used to talk about – the idea of the sad party. There are some great disco records that have endured because they have this kind of melancholy – take Dancing Queen by Abba, there’s so much sadness in that song, but you can play it at weddings and everyone will get up. If you can make people dance and feel some kind of longing, then that’s the Holy Grail.’
And playing in Portsmouth represents something of a homecoming for Jeremy. ‘I was born in Portsmouth,’ he says.
‘Oddly, my parents, they live in London now, but they met working on The News in Portsmouth. They got married, then they had me, and we moved up to Kent when I was one because my dad got a new job.
‘My godfather used to run the naval museum – I’ve still got a lot of roots around there, and I love coming to Portsmouth. I was born in Southsea, just off Albert Road.
‘The Portsmouth News is basically responsible for my existence.’
They play at The Pyramids on Monday, November 9, doors 7.30pm.
Tickets £19.25. pyramids-live.co.uk