BETWEEN gigs in front of thousands at an arena in Mexico and recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, you could be forgiven for thinking Delays at the top of their game.
However, you'd be wrong.
Singer and keyboard player Aaron Gilbert revealed ahead of the release of the band's third album they are still some way off where he wants the band to be.
"I'm happy to be making records but our aspirations are huge," he explains.
"We want to be the biggest band on the planet – I know that's taking it to a clich but there's a lot of bands that try just want the kudos
of being a niche band in a scene – we don't give a damn about that.
"I want everyone on the planet to hear our music and be moved by it.
"We've only just started but we know where we're going."
Delays' aspirations are grandiose, but they believe they have recorded a new album which can propel them on their way.
Everything's A Rush was recorded in 20 days in Spain with producer Youth – who has worked with Primal Scream and Paul McCartney.
Aaron says it's the sound of Delays striding into the big league.
The tunes are brighter, the choruses bigger, the need for emotional
rescue greater than ever.
"We recorded it up at his studios in the mountains – it was amazing up there," he says.
"We spent a month looking at out over these mountains. It's a pretty
inspirational place to be.
"It hugely affected the music – when you're looking out at something
like that how can you not be inspired and get goosebumps?"
Delays rehearsed the songs in Southampton before heading to Spain to work with Youth.
"The whole album is just bigger," says Aaron. "There's a fine line
between sounding bombastic and grand and this is grand.
"For us, melody is king. We want to make music which sends a shiver down your spine."
The Delays signed to Rough Trade records in 2004 and released their
debut album, Faded Seaside Glamour, the same year.
Brothers Greg and Aaron Gilbert are joined by bassist Colin Fox and
A riot of page-boy haircuts, nifty riffs and celestial harmonies led to
top 20 hits Long Time Coming and Nearer Than Heaven and prompted The Guardian to describe them as "the first guitar band in a decade to lay claim to the melodic guitar pop throne invented by The Byrds and the Hollies."
Its 2006 follow-up, You See Colours, saw their psych-pop blueprint delivering more hit singles – and a split from their record company.
"It was a weird situation to be in," reveals Colin.
"We'd be playing to huge crowds at Glastonbury and T In the Park, all the while aware that we didn't know who was going to put the next record out."
The single Delays will release ahead of their new album will be Hooray – a song about obsessivecompulsive disorder.
"It's the most upbeat thing you'll ever hear," says Aaron. "You don't
need to write a maudlin song for its lyrical content to be meaningful."
When not recording at altitude in Spain the band was working with the London Symphony Orchestra.
"There's a track called Pieces which is a bit of an opus," reveals Aaron.
"When I listen to music I wanna get goosebumps and this for me does it
– it's just beautiful. Greg wrote the lyrics and he won't tell me what it's about – he's got some issues.
"Any chance you get to have an orchestra playing your songs is something you're going to jump at.
"When they started to play our music it was stunning"
While Aaron says he'd love to take members of the orchestra on tour he joked there was next to no chance of this happening at Sunday's Soundhaus gig.
From the album opener Girl's On Fire to neurotic space disco Friends Are False, Everything's A Rush is evidence Delays have stadiums in mind.
"One third of the album relates to the detritus of us getting out of
Rough Trade and our private situations, and the other two thirds are
about the joy of discovering new things and the beauty of making music again" explains Greg.
Last year saw Delays travel to Mexico, to play a sold-out 7,000 capacity
former bullring after their single Valentine proved a huge hit for them in the country.
"We're bigger in Mexico than anywhere," says Aaron.
"We were headlining a show at an old bullfighting arena and that's how it should be – it felt incredible."
Turning to 2008, Delays' pre-album tour is under way – which Aaron
describes as just "a toe in the water" compared with what they hope to achieve this year – with a series of summer festival dates already announced.
Delays' new album is out on April 28
For more information visit www.thedelays.co.uk.