The Brightlights @ V Festival 2007

In a few hours time The Brightlights will rush the Channel 4 Stage as the Guillemots' set comes to an epic finale, banging seven shades out of drums and anything else they can get their hands on to the final chimes of 'Sao Paolo'.

It's will prove a truly triumphant moment, the culmination of a Road To V journey which has seen the Grimsby four-piece go from local battle of the band losers two years ago to opening this year's V Festival. Anyway, that's all to come. Right now we're sat with The Brightlights in their dressing room, the band buzzing having just come off stage as festival organisers attempt to kick them out to make way for Lily Allen. To say they're enjoying their rider is an understatement. Our interview went something like this…

Virtual Festivals: You've just played V Festival. Twice. What's that all about?
The Brightlights: "Yeah, what is that all about? It's amazing, that's what. It went really quickly, we only played four songs so it was a short and snappy set, which was probably a good thing. We didn?t want to milk it, plus we've got one song which is about eight minutes long so we would have got kicked off if we?d stayed on any longer."

VF: What's it like having a rider?
The Brightlights: "It's the only one we've ever had so we're going to make the most of it. Here, have a beer! We've also got fruit, wine, nuts, Basset's, Haribos, we've got it all, help yourself. We're going to get through it whatever – and then steal whatever we can from Lily Allen's rider!"

VF: She's taking over your dressing room soon I hear..
The Brightlights : "Yeah, they're kicking us out so that she can get in here and do girlie things. It's not very fair though, there's four of us and we get half a portacabin, she gets the whole thing and there's only one of her."

VF: She does have a band though…
The Brightlights: "That's true. Anyway we'll let her off because we all fancy her a bit. We'll definitely be hanging around for a while to try and meet some of the bands. James (drummer) particularly wants to meet her!"

James butts in..

"Shut up! My girlfriend will kill me if that goes in print again. It's already been on the front of a newspaper!"

VF: How does playing today in Cheltenham compare to Staffs yesterday?
The Brightlights: "Yesterday was a bit more lively. It was Saturday so people are a bit more up for it and excited, especially at seeing the first band. For many people today, the last band they would have seen was Primal Scream or Foo Fighters last night, then us the next morning. So it's quite a hard act to follow! Today was really cool too though."

VF: Which crowd was best?
The Brightlights: "Probably Staffs because we had some friends down and the weather was a bit nicer. Staffs is not too far from us so it's almost like a local festival. Both festivals were really crowded considering the time of day though. We were blown away by the reception we got."

VF: You just played two gigs in 24 hours in front of a few thousand people, how does that compare to playing in front of a hundred?
The Brightlights: "Oh it's a piece of cake! No, there was obviously a lot of pressure because we had won a competition against so many other bands so you've got a lot of live up to. But we were chuffed, really excited, and it was a fantastic honour to play V. We just want to do it again really."

VF: What was the reaction when you found out you had won?
The Brightlights: "We were playing a gig at The Barfly in Liverpool when we found out. We went out for drink beforehand, got told and next thing we were throwing beer in the air and going mental. It was weird because they sent this guy down to see us. It was really cloak and dagger, like. We didn't really know what was going on, just that this guy was coming down to meet us. It was like something out of James Bond."

VF: Have you had to sleep in tents?
The Brightlights: "Yeah, we slept here last night (Saturday night) and at Staffs on Friday. When we first got to Staffs no one knew who we were and we almost didn't get in. In the end they put us in the staff camping which was quite cool. There were loads of the entertainers in there so we got chatting to all them."

VF: Apart from playing what has been the highlight of the weekend?
The Brightlights: "The Kooks probably. We got to watch them from the side of stage which was amazing. We met them afterwards and they said they were into us as well, so it was good to hear that."

VF: Possible touring buddies in the future?
The Brightlights: "Hopefully yeah. That's why we're plugging them! Only time will tell."

VF: So you're enjoying the world of festivals then?
The Brightlights: "Yeah it's pretty good, we could get used to it. It's bizarre though, I mean we're not used to this kind of thing at all. The VIP treatment is a real eye-opener and it's just got to be enjoyed while it's there because we know it might never happen again. Obviously we're hopeful it will but you can't take it for granted. We aren?t used to this type of thing so it was really weird when we went for dinner in the VIP area because KT Tunstall and McFly were there. I'm name dropping already look!"

VF: Maybe they'll be name dropping you one day. How did you guys get together?
The Brightlights: "We started practising in my garage and we went to school together. During football we would all kind of stay on the sidelines chatting about music rather than playing footie. We just always dreamed of doing it and in the end we did."

VF: Have you had any moments where you thought about giving up? Doing the Grimsby circuit must get a bit boring after a while…
The Brightlights: "We've had some great times playing in Grimsby but of course you want to move on. It's not like we're too big for the place though. Two years ago, we entered a battle of the bands competition in Grimsby and we came last. We literally got laughed off stage and were the butts of jokes for weeks. But here we are now having won one of the biggest new bands competition in the country having just played one of the biggest festivals. It's funny."

VF: Were you really bad back then?
The Brightlights: "We'd only been together about six months so we weren't the best. Afterwards we kind of said to ourselves, ?right we're going to do this properly and we practised for nine months non-stop?. No gigs, just practise and practise. And then we played our first gig and people were like, 'who's this? these guys used to be shite!' A few gigs later we got picked up by a promotions company from Stockton, then management and now we're here."

VF: Well then what is next for you guys, are you hoping to get signed or what?
The Brightlights: "Yeah we don't want to sign the wrong deal though, we want to be the next U2. Y'know not some poxy indie deal. Nah we're not really like that, but we want to aim high. You aim high and then see what comes. If you end up in the middle somewhere then that's cool, but we're aiming for the top."

For more see The Brightlights MySpace.