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© Brian Patterson/Corbis
Guitar music is something of a dirty word in the UK at the moment, but that hasn't stopped unassuming north Londoners Bombay Bicycle Club's steady rise.
Famously still at school when they were signed in 2006, the biggest band ever to be named after a chain of curry restaurants have taken a round about route to chart success. With three albums of, variously, fresh-faced indie fuzz, gentle folk and streamlined anthemia under their collective belt, BBC finally hit the jackpot in February, scoring their first UK number one album with So Long, See You Tomorrow.
MusicRadar caught up with guitarist Jamie MacColl to talk chart success, guitar skills and Afro beat...
How did it feel to top the album chart?
"We're still processing it, really. I don't think we're the kind of band that defines itself by those kind of moments. Hopefully we do it for other reasons.
"But at the same time, when I found out I obviously got incredibly excited: you can't help but get swept away by that kind of thing. And particularly for us, because it happened on our forth album, and we've kind of been working at this for quite a long time now. It's nice to feel like things get better every time as opposed to being in decline."
How has your playing style changed over the course of the last four albums?
"Well to be honest, when we first started the band I could barely play the guitar. We formed for a school assembly basically, and the teacher of our class picked the four people he thought were musical, and I somehow got lumped in with them [laughs]. But me and Jack, the singer, were really good friends and we bonded over a shared love of the same music.
"My guitar playing has really evolved over the course of the four records because they're all very different: the first album was a classic indie rock album I guess, so we looked to bands like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Smashing Pumpkins for the chord progressions and guitar style that we were interested in.
"Then there was one song on that album, Always Like This, that kind of hinted at something else. It had quite a prominent afro-beat guitar riff. And that playing is something that we've eventually incorporated in our latest album. The lead parts are in a kind of afro-beat style, as opposed to looking at indie rock."