Softly Softly approach as Hosts finally join party

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Whisper it Softly, Softly, but five Sheffield musicians have success in their sights with the release of a debut album seven years in the making.

The Hosts formed back in 2007 from the remnants of Sheffield favourites Hoggboy – but their first album is only out on Monday.

The Hosts are, from left to right, 'Jamie Shipley (guitar), Jim Fisher (keyboards), Tom Hogg (vocals, guitar), Adam Crofts (drums) and David Glover (bass).

The Hosts are, from left to right, 'Jamie Shipley (guitar), Jim Fisher (keyboards), Tom Hogg (vocals, guitar), Adam Crofts (drums) and David Glover (bass).

However, lead singer Tom Hogg says the wait is worthwhile, with the record something the band are immensely proud of.

The 39-year-old, from Nether Edge, says: “We’re really excited about it – it’s been a while coming.

“There were times when it looked like it wouldn’t come out at all, but we’re extremely excited,”

Several ‘breaks’ and ‘lots of line-up changes’ have delayed the album’s release and, while it may have been written for a while, Tom was keen to have a record label support it – and is delighted to have agreed a deal with renowned independent label Fierce Panda.

Tom – one-fifth of The Hosts with keyboard player Jim Fisher, guitarist Jamie Shipley, bassist David Glover and drummer Adam Crofts – says: “The album has been recorded a couple of years. It’s taken us that long to get on our feet to where we are now.

“We have been working to get it to this point to get it out. We could have put it out ourselves, but I wanted a label for the support – we’re working with some incredible people.”

Fierce Panda – which has released music by artists including Ash, Coldplay and The Bluetones – said: “Tellingly, Softly, Softly is released in the week of Valentine’s Day, for, as the band themselves say, ‘with its euphoric highs and sentimental lows, Softly, Softly’ paints a picture of modern romance in vivid Technocolour’. It is a journey that mirrors the band’s own highs and lows and one which finds them waiting, now ready to catch their monkey.”

Tom says: “When I sat down and thought about putting The Hosts together, I wanted to hone my songwriting skills and write songs I would like to listen to, make records I like.

“It’s exactly the album I wanted to make. I think it sounds amazing.”

The Hosts are currently arranging a string of live dates to promote the album – with a Sheffield show already confirmed for The Leadmill on Friday, March 14 – while feedback surrounding the record has been almost universally positive, with lead single September Song winning airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music.

Tickets are now on sale for The Hosts at The Leadmill, priced £6. To buy, visit www.theleadmill.co.uk

See the video to September Song at www.thestar.co.uk/video