Bastille drummer Chris Wood looks forward to Plymouth homecoming
A Plymouth drummer some in the city will have last seen live as part of the winning group in the 2002 School Battle of the Bands is set to return home with his new outfit - Bastille.
Chris 'Woody' Wood is the drummer in the London-based chart-topping band, and will bring the quartet back to Plymouth in March next year as part of a UK tour.
Talking to The Herald Woody says he can't wait to bring the band to play his home town.
He said: "Couldn't be more excited. We've never played Plymouth as a band before and to be able to play an arena date in my home town is unreal.
"The rest of the band are probably feeling a massive sense of relief because I can finally stop moaning about never having played down here."
Bastille have just released their new single Things We Lost in The Fire from the number one album Bad Blood - but some in Plymouth were fans of Woody long before he made the Radio One playlist.
Woody said: "Judging from the reaction on Twitter when we announced the Plymouth date, we have a few Janners who are looking forward to seeing us.
"My mates from school had been giving me grief for ages about never having played at home so this will hopefully quiet them down for a bit."
Woody, from Derriford, went to Devonport High School for Boys where he helped his group win a Battle of the Bands.
He also learnt his craft in Plymouth with his dad Derek, playing in his bands Wood and Lang and The Dodgers.
Woody, a fan of Plymouth Argyle and Plymouth Gin, became part of the newly forming Bastille in 2011 after meeting lead-singer Dan Smith at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.
At the end of November that year the band signed to Virgin Records and they have gone on to release an album and a string of singles - including the breakthrough Pompeii.
In June this year, after supporting Muse on tour, the band headlined their first festival and as well as the UK tour that will bring them back to Plymouth, they are also touring the US.
But Woody hopes the Plymouth gig will rival all the achievements of recent months.
He said: "We've had an utterly ridiculous 18 months that have way exceeded our expectations. Packing out our gig at Glastonbury was a massive highlight as well supporting Muse (who were one of my favourite bands growing up, I saw them at Pavilions when I was 16.
"But this will hopefully be a night to remember for a very long time, I've always wanted to play a home town gig and hopefully the Plymouth crowd will show the rest of the boys in the band what they've been missing."
The one disappointment for Woody is that he won't get to see his beloved Plymouth Argyle play at home - but he does take time out whenever possible to see them play.
He said: "The last game I saw was Aldershot away in February when we won 2-1. I'm hoping to catch a couple of games this year but I listen to Sparksy every Saturday online.
"It's a nice change that given the past five years we can finally look at a season with some optimism. John Sheridan has made some canny signings and I'll go on record as saying we'll finish fifth this season."
Woody is also glad to see plans for the new Home Park grandstand finally moving forward.
He said: "I've been a massive Argyle fan all my life and I think James Brent has been a revelation for the club and the city.
"I follow all of the team news online and it's been frustrating to read some of the negative comments about the way the club is being run.
"Some people seem to have forgotten that we still have massive historic debts to pay off and more importantly, without James Brent, Chris Webb and others we wouldn't have a league club in the city at all.
"Building the club back up slowly and sustainably is the only way to go in my opinion. The Higher Home Park plans look promising and it will be good to finally have the Stadium finished as it's been more than ten years since the initial improvements were made!"
Announcing the gig at Plymouth Pavilions on March 3, 2014, Woody tweeted: "Well this is excellent news. Crack out the Gin and Pasties, I'm coming home!"
And he said he is very excited about his return to the city.
Woody said: "I don't get back anywhere near as often as I would like especially as my family still live in Plymouth.
"Bastille keeps me incredibly busy and we don't get much time at all to see girlfriends and friends etc, but I guess that's a sign that things are going well so I'm not complaining.
"I'll be dragging the boys down to Cap'n Jaspers for sure, sadly our schedule won't overlap with an Argyle game so they'll have to wait a little longer for their first visit to Home Park. If they're feeling brave I'll take them down Union Street after the gig."
Woody has a message for all the fans looking forward to seeing them at Plymouth Pavilions on March 3 next year.
He said: "Just a massive thank you to everyone for being so supportive and I hope you'll have a blast in March. I can't wait."
The Beatles on Plymouth Hoe in 1967 - in a pose recreated by Bastille in 2011