Byline: By Will Marlow
Wil Marlow discovers the Lost Prophets finding their way to the start of something big.
Ian Watkins is knackered. The frontman of Lost Prophets has just finished the last show of Australia's Big Day Out annual rock tour and is looking forward to winding down for the evening.
"It was much better than I could imagine," he says of the tour.
"Before I came over I wasn't sure if anyone had heard of us in Australia and New Zealand but at the first show we played, the place was crammed and everyone was singing the words. It was mad."
Lost Prophets, who played at Newcastle University last night, are doing well for a band whose success thus far has been based more on word-of-mouth than hype.
Formed in the Cardiff satellite town of Pontypridd seven years ago, the six-piece burst on to the rock scene in 2001 with their successful debut album thefakesoundofprogress.
Three years later they're back with its follow-up, the more accomplished Start Something.
"It's a million miles away from the first album," says Watkins. "They're both cool albums and the first album was full of ideas but we were naive and didn't have a clue.
"Start Something is us with a bit more knowledge. After three years of touring we know more about what we want to record and what we want to write. We just have the ability to realise our ideas better."
The music industry seems to agree, with many tipping the band for great things in 2004. But Watkins is refusing to get caught up in the increasing amount of hype surrounding his band.
"I'd like to think that this year will be our year but obviously you never know," he says. "But I'm feeling good at the moment."
People do seem to like the new material, however. They're currently flying the flag for British rock in the UK's Top 10 with their single Last Train Home, and more mainstream media are showing interest in the band. They even made an appearance on a recent edition of music show CD:UK, during which Watkins was allowed to spout his opinions on certain pop acts. …