Cool customers The Strypes set to rock out Glasgow

The Strypes are cool customers, reports Jonathan Geddes.

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They've had a year of crazy gigs, praise from the likes of Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher and chart success, yet the teenage foursome are relaxed about being one of rock n' roll's hottest properties.

"I don't really see a difference from a year ago, it's still just me and the guys in the band," says their singer Ross Farrelly, ahead of a gig at the Garage on Tuesday night.

"It's not like we're looking at it from a fan's point of view and seeing how we've grown or anything, we're still doing the same things."

Those things involve playing blistering, no nonsense blues, inspired by the likes of Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. It's short, sharp music, and the group have often been compared to 70s pub rockers supreme Dr Feelgood.

Less than a year after releasing debut album Snapshot they've rolled out a new EP, Four Track Mind, offering up another instalment of snappy rock n' roll. The foursome have been helped out by the likes of Paul Weller, a big admirer of the band, letting them use his studio to work in.

Praise from the Modfather himself has been greatly received by the teenagers.

"It's an honour, when it's someone praising you that you look up to and respect then you're doing good," adds Ross.

"We were huge fans of the Jam when we were younger, I love In The City."

There's been approval from other acts, including Elton John, who signed the band to his management company. Greatest of all, though, was when the band got to perform with two of Dr Feelgood, guitarist Wilko Johnson and bassist John B Sparks, running through the classic Roxette at a show last year.

"We were all influenced by Wilko because of the amazing guitar parts he played, and we had him and Sparks onstage, which was amazing, enthuses Ross.

"It was great to talk to him and even though he is ill [Johnson has terminal cancer] he was so happy to be up and playing, and it was amazing to see him so full of energy."

If the Strypes recordings suggest a rowdy bunch then their gigs are known for being even more energetic. The Garage show is their return to Glasgow, following an appearance at King Tut's last year, where they played an extra afternoon performance to let their younger fans see them.

"Glasgow was mental last year," recalls Ross.

"We did two shows in one day, a matinee for all ages and then one later for over 18s, but it was one of the first mental crowds, where people were going crazy in the crowd for the whole gig."

Yet the group are adamant they're not getting carried away, and aren't getting treated any differently back in their hometown of Cavan, in Ulster.

"We'll walk down the street and people will ask about the band and get into a small chat, but nobody really sees us as anything big or thinks we're anything special," says the singer.

"They knew us when we were growing up, so we're still the same people to them. When we were about to get signed we realised we'd have to quit school as we couldn't do both and that if we wanted to do this properly we'd have to devote all our time to playing music.

"I don't think we ever thought we'd be going places though, and we still don't think like that. I don't see the point in thinking you're better than anyone else because you're in a band."

Ross also doesn't have much time for the most frequent criticism lobbed at the band - that by playing old blues covers and songs with obvious inspirations, the band aren't doing anything fresh or original.

"Any band worth their salt starts off doing covers," he says.

"I don't think it's a fair criticism of us that we do that, as it's a good thing for bands to do and helps you develop."

While noone in the group is older than 18, the four-piece seem savvy about how the music business works, and have no intention of getting sucked into the pop industry. They insist it's purely about making their own music, not getting famous.

"It's all about getting rich quick and I don't see the point of that - we just play music," he says.

"We don't like the fakeness of the X Factor and that or of people being created and being told what to do - they're dancing around the stage and people want to be like them? I don't see the point of them."

The Strypes, Garage, Tuesday, £12, 7pm

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