The Heartbreaks dominate Japan

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GOING from playing in front of 15,000 people on live Japanese TV to a few hundred in a hometown pub would feel like a come down to most bands. But not for Morecambe’s biggest ambassadors, The Heartbreaks.

Much as our boys loved the bright lights and big cities of their first Japan tour, lead singer Matthew Whitehouse says there is no place like home.

Even so, they found rubbing shoulders with The Stone Roses and the Gallagher brothers at the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata the most exciting challenge of their career to date.

Whilst in Japan they also had to deal with something they’ve yet to experience in the UK - widespread fame.

The band are so big in the Far East, their last single Delay, Delay went to number one in the Tokyo FM radio airplay and sales chart.

“We had no expectations at all going out there,” said Matthew.

“It would have been nice had 12 people heard of us in Japan, but on the first night there were 5,000 there.

“We were working non-stop. They were playing Delay, Delay constantly on the radio.

“It was (TV and radio) interview after interview.

“There were 15,000 people in Osaka for a gig put on by a radio station who have really got behind us, and we were the only western band there.”

The group was mobbed by delirious fans in a country where, unlike in Britain, guitar music is still a major force.

“People kept running up to us in the street and crying,” said Matt.

“And I thought ‘We’re not THAT bad’...!”

Safe to say that a return to Japan is on the cards for the future.

But next for The Heartbreaks is a short UK tour of slightly less glamorous locations...including Newquay, Barnsley, Wigan and Morecambe.

This Friday night (August 10) the foursome play their first hometown gig of 2012 at Smokey O’Connor’s pub.

Their set list will include new single Polly, for which the lads have just filmed the music video, featuring drummer Joseph Kondras’ sister Eve in the role of ‘Polly’.

The EP includes a cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire, which is already receiving rave reviews. Matthew said the band are big fans of ‘The Boss’ because “he writes about the similar themes that we do, like falling in and out of love, boredom, big pop songs in provincial settings.

“I’m On Fire is a song we all know, we just bashed it out in a couple of takes.”

The gig starts at 7.30pm and is an over 14s show.

Support comes from Bleach and Joe McCorriston.

See HERE for ticket details.

You can also see the band live when they play gigs in two local shops to herald the launch of their new single.

The first is at Dirty Entertainment record store in the Arndale Centre in Morecambe on Saturday, August 18 from 3pm.

Then they will appear at Lancaster’s HMV on Monday, September 3 from 5pm, the same day as their new tune hits the shops.

The group – Matthew, Joseph, Ryan Wallace and Chris ‘Deaks’ Deakin - will be available afterwards to sign copies of the Polly single as well as their album Funtimes.