In an industry inundated with swaggering haircuts telling us they’re here to claim the cosmos as their own, The Broken Family Band are a radically different proposition – a group of young men utterly extraordinary in their ordinariness.

And yet this is a band that has sold out the likes of London’s Koko and Scala without the fevered praise of the NME or a too-good-to-be-true backstory to trot out when needed, relying instead on a string of accomplished records to make their way in the world.

Formed in Cambridge from “several crap indie bands and a pretty good post-rock band”, the BFB began life in 2001 with their own, Anglicised take of Americana, building a reputation on the live circuit. Since then, their sound has taken in a wider scope of influences, but a knack for songmanship and the unique lyrical worldview of frontman Steve Adams has remained, along with a resolutely unpretentious, uncontrived approach to their work.

Their latest album, Please And Thank You, recorded in Norfolk and London, is their first with new label Cooking Vinyl – but when the tapes first began rolling, the band were without a deal.

“It was brilliant not knowing where it was going to go,” Adams says.

“We weren’t interested in anything other than entertaining ourselves, so we didn’t think about what would sound good on the radio or would work as singles,” he laughs. “The ones that might have made singles all had swearing in or were too long.”

Doing just what they want to has been an abiding trait of the BFB’s career. A cursory search online uncovers a stack of articles that allude to the fact the band have managed their upward trajectory in tandem with day jobs. Adams even wrote a persuasive article for The Guardian in which he argued that there’s no sense in starving in tourbuses waiting for an elusive golden ticket to international stardom.

This focus on the band’s part-time status has resulted in a self-imposed ban on talking about it to interviewers (“we change the subject”), but Adams says there has never been any pressure on them to bite the bullet and make the Broken Family Band their sole concern.

“I don’t think there’s any real pressure on us to do anything,” he says. “We’ve surrounded ourselves with people who like the way we work, and we work the way we like. Woo! You could use that in a headline.”

Articulate and self-effacing, Adams has been singled out for praise as a lyricist by reviewers captivated by his misanthropic streak. The latest record includes Cinema Vs House, a rehearsal of the age-old staying in/going out debate, while St Albans sees an unshowered undesirable trying to get some action in the Hertfordshire cathedral city.

“It’s quite shocking to find out what people’s perception of you is,” he says of his reputation as a somewhat abrasive lyricist. “It’s like when you hear your voice for the first time on a tape recorder and you think, ‘I don’t sound like that’. I think I’m being tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic, but it comes off as a mean-spirited b******!”

He admits to being “about 50%” misanthropic, but says anchoring his words in the everyday was very much a conscious escape from songwriting cliché.

“I realised you can spend too much time talking about nasty things like feelings. I wanted to get into mentioning paving stones and supermarkets.”

Despite their grounding in the real world, the next BFB record looks set to shift the band’s focus entirely.

“I think we’re aiming towards some massive pastoral, English rock beast,” Adams says. “We’re going to take a very different move with the next record. We have to keep ourselves interested, because what else have you got?

“Having said that, it’ll probably end up sounding like The Enemy or something.”

Support from Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards.

  • Starts 7pm. Tickets £10 from Rounder Records on 01273 325440 and Resident on 01273 606235.