The last time I saw local lads This Life Scandal the guys were playing as an acoustic twosome up at the Horns. That, I believe, was more than one year ago.

Whilst I can’t recall the exact date I’ve never forgotten what I heard that evening – the raw, emotional sound of a very talented act indeed, held aloft by the striking vocal talents of front-man Chris Biggin.

So much was I taken aback by what I heard that I’ve had the chorus from one of the tracks I heard swimming around my head ever since; a tune often hummed (for no apparent reason) in the shower, in the car, on the loo, etc, etc.

It reminded me a great deal of the first time I heard the outstanding Turin Brakes when still at university.

So what’s been happening since? It’s a question I put to Chris, as I try to reconcile the normal sounding voice on the phone and his phenomenal, soaring vocals.

The answer, sadly, is ‘not a great deal.’ This, however, is not a criticism of TLF. I’m told the guys have had a number of line-up issues in the intervening months but are now settled as a four piece and ready to push for wider recognition.

“We had some issues with our old drummer and just never got settled,” says 26-year-old Chris, a veteran of the Watford scene. “But everything has come together now and we’re happy with our sound and where we’re going. In a way I suppose we’re quite an old band but we all know what we’re aiming for now.”

So just what are they aiming for?

“We want to make big, epic music,” answers Chris, “we want our songs to take you on a real emotional rollercoaster. We’re going into the studio soon and will be going for some really big production. But our recent gigs with this line-up have been fantastic.”

Listening to their as yet unreleased catalogue this epic ambition certainly stands out – not least on The Great Bank Robbery, the must hear track I had stuck in my head. Ditto for Life’s a Movie, a track which owes much to the brilliant Guy Garvey and Elbow.

Details on a debut EP and album release are as yet pretty sketchy, but 2009 will at the very least yield a major leap forward for the guys (completed by guitarist Sam Simon-Norris, bassist Dave Henstead, and drummer Neil Johnson), with a new and enthusiastic management team behind them. Actually, when I say team I really mean just EMI’s Natalie Couzens – the band’s new (and very persuasive) manager.

“She’s got a lot of faith in us,” adds Chris. I was actually planning to go and study in America before she approached us through a friend and convinced us to give it a proper go as a band.”

So how’s it been going?

“Really well,” answers Chris, who (cue the best claim to fame I’ve heard in while) inadvertently sang the theme tune for the French version of Big Brother while recording session vocals for a feature film.

“We’ve been playing more gigs and have been really happy with our sound. We’ve now just got to crack on and play as many gigs as possible. This project has been bubbling away for years. It’s down to us to make it a success.”

In that I wish them every success.

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