WITH dirty dance key stabs, pop-funky rim shots and swervingly sexy vocals all mixed into a cool rock blender, Safari have developed a massively enjoyable live act which had crowds going nutty at festivals over the last two weeks.

The five-piece from Hitchin, Letchworth and Biggleswade played storming sets at Rhythms of the World and last weekend at Latitude, with rumour of more festivals to come over the summer.

Their spiky dance rockers who formed in 2009 have also grabbed the attention of This Playground Records who signed them last year.

Keyboard player Jonny Flynn and drummer Sim Smith spoke to Venue about the band’s rise from house parties to playing in front of thousands.

“We all met at Fearnhill School in Letchworth however due to cliques and popularity conquests we never really communicated until our late teens via house parties and all nighters, sharing the same taste of music to bombard cheap stereo systems with. After a while we realised we could all play an instrument or two and started making music,” Jonny said.

“We released our first single Quicksand in the summer of last year through This Playground Records and followed up with So I See a few months a go. We had offers from other labels to release other material but Playground seemed to share our ideas on which songs would give the best insight into what safari is about.”

Sim said playing back on home ground to such an appreciative crowd at Rhythms after a string of gigs in London this year was a “massive buzz”, while Latitude saw the band arrive in real style.

“We have only played two gigs in Hertfordshire in the last year so it was a perfect stage to play for our fans, friends and family. We actually recorded some footage which can be found on our Facebook page.”

“Latitude is an amazing festival with some amazing bands playing too, so it was very exciting to be invited over. We played the sunrise arena and left the tent in very high spirits, you know a gig went well when you’re surrounded by people attacking you for vinyls, and you know you’re playing a cool festival when you’re being escorted to the stage down a river on a boat.”

On writing the band’s material Jonny said it was 70 per cent method and 30 per cent madness.

“We will start with a concept of how we want a song to sound, or what type of feel we would like it to portray, and then spend a lot of time experimenting with keyboards and drum machines until we feel we have it matched. Sometimes a very cheerful song can be reversed by a dark bass line, or some deep obscure lyrics. It’s the added extras we throw in, which can flip the mood of a track, which defines our music.”

An album, which took over a year to record, is due out by the end of the year Sim said.

“It wasn’t completed in the most conventional way. Technically it took over a year to record as we would take a break to write songs, play them at gigs to test them out, and then head to the studio when we had them perfected.

“Our singles are a sneaky peak into what can be expected from the album, other than this it is hard to define over a years work in a few short words.”

He added that the band are also looking into starting a regular night in the area soon - “Bringing music we find on our adventures back to the local scene so we can finally spend some time with the music fans around us. Keep your eyes and ears open yo.”

To discover their music - and their great videos shot by Spike Morris, who is tipped to film Terrorvision’s new single - go to thisissafari.co.uk

A limited edition free download of latest single So I See is available at www.facebook.com/WeLoveSAFARI