Fronted by the likeable Ian Broudie, The Lightning Seeds are undoubtedly now best known for their recordings of various versions of 'Three Lions' with comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.
In 1996, at the height of Britpop and on the eve of the so-called Cool Britannia era, England was hosting a major football competition for the first time in three decades. It was to be a transcendental moment in modern popular culture.
It was a meeting of minds between the nation's favourite sport, two of its favourite comedians and one of its top indie bands, showcased on massive TV hits like Chris Evans' 'TFI Friday', Baddiel and Skinner's own 'Fantasy Football' show and all in the warm embrace of one of the few true, long hot summers of recent times.
Amid a sea of mediocre football-related pop songs, 'Three Lions' was the right sentiment at the right time. The German football team and public even latched onto it. After they'd won the tournament, knocking us out via the regulation penalty shoot-out hell, the homecoming in Berlin culminated in the team singing "It's coming home", trophy aloft. The pain still won't go away.
But, for The Lightning Seeds, it was just another chapter in a hugely successful career that has seen numerous top ten albums, a couple of No 1 singles ('Three Lions', twice) and their music frequently selected for TV shows and sports news beds, most notably for Match of the Day's 'Goal of the Month' segment which featured 1992's 'The Life of Riley'.
Alongside singles like 'Pure', 'Lucky You', 'Change', 'Sugar Coated Iceberg' and, of course, 'Three Lions', the MOTD exposure helped The Lightning Seeds build a merited reputation for extraordinarily catchy sing-along indie pop. A reputation that is alive and well and still thrilling audiences.
The first of nine February 2012 dates for The Lightning Seeds will be at Whitehaven's Civic Hall, with further dates in Leeds, a home-coming gig at the Liverpool Academy, then Milton Keynes, Gateshead, leamington Spa, Frome, London's Shepherds Bush Empire and finally the Buxton Opera House on 20th February.
Tickets go on sale at 9AM on Friday 16th September 2011, from £22.50 (£25 for London).