Fans go M.A.D as new boyband visits Sheffield

M.A.D fans Shauna Mullen, aged 15, and Hannah Jobburns, aged 14, both of Intake, Doncaster, meet the band, from left, Dan Lewis, Michael Sutthakorn and AB Pryer at the Record Collector shop in Fulwood Road, Sheffield.
M.A.D fans Shauna Mullen, aged 15, and Hannah Jobburns, aged 14, both of Intake, Doncaster, meet the band, from left, Dan Lewis, Michael Sutthakorn and AB Pryer at the Record Collector shop in Fulwood Road, Sheffield.
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They could be the next One Direction - but don’t fret if their name has passed you by.

Boyband M.A.D are hotly tipped for pop success, and received an excitable reception when a crowd of fans descended on Record Collector in Broomhill, Sheffield, to meet the group at a signing session.

M.A.D with a fan at the Record Collector shop in Fulwood Road, Sheffield.

M.A.D with a fan at the Record Collector shop in Fulwood Road, Sheffield.

However, despite achieving a top 40 placing in the official UK singles chart last night with their latest track Fame and TV, the band are little-known in mainstream circles - or among most people over the age of 16.

Instead of following the usual route of radio, television and magazines, the band have built a fanbase through internet videos and social media.

Barry Everard, who runs Record Collector on Fulwood Road, said the band’s underground success was a ‘strange phenomenon’.

“At the start of the week they were an unknown quantity, but now they’re having hundreds of schoolchildren turning up at every shop,” he said.

“The single was at number 12 in the midweeks which suggests, if they have done more appearances, it will be top five in the end.

“It’s a curious and interesting situation.”

For the uninitiated, M.A.D - named after band members Michael Sutthakorn, AB Pryer and Dan Lewis - formed in spring last year, soon finding success with debut single Toyboy.

The boys call their fans ‘MADones’ and interact with them through an array of websites including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, YouNow and Snapchat.

As well as their online activities, Fame and TV has been released in eight different downloadable versions, which boosts artists’ chart positions.

In Broomhill fans queued down the street, shouting the band’s name, while a few were overcome with emotion at meeting their new idols, bursting into tears.

Barry admitted M.A.D were different from the usual musical fare at Record Collector, where shoppers cherish traditional vinyl and CDs above digital MP3s.

But he said: “We’re a broad church, we’re not snobs and we deal with the whole community. When we were approached, we said ‘Why not?’ We had no idea it was going to be such a big phenomenon.

“It’s a sign of the modern world and the way things have changed. For a lot of younger people, how they find information is on the internet and social networking sites. The interesting thing to me is how a band can be a mystery to the general public, but some are able to buy into it and make an act successful.”