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THEY always did have their sights set high, yet Mcfly have ambitions to go one further by attempting to conjure up the ultimate gig.

"We want to be the first band to play in space and have already spoken to Richard Branson to hopefully do this through Virgin Galactic," explained the band's joint lead singer Tom Fletcher with the kind of youthful enthusiasm which has endeared them to their legion of teenage fans.

Just for now though, there is the slightly more down to earth concern of their Up Close and Personal Tour, which sees them make a welcome return to Kent.

The latest round of sell-out shows comes on the back of a rollercoaster ride over the last few years which has seen them produce three top 10 albums and a more-than useful flow of chart topping singles.

Ever since becoming the youngest band to reach number one with Room At The Top (aged between 15 and 18, beating the Beatles) with their chart-friendly 'nu-pop' sound. they’ve barely let their foot off the gas.

"It’s been crazy, we couldn’t have dreamt it would go any better, it’s has been absolutely perfect.

"There’s been so many highlights- getting a Brit Award was great and playing with some of our idols like Brian May from Queen who joined us at Wembley," added Tom, having just taken a break from an intense X-Box game session with the rest of the lads on their tour bus parked up in Bradford.

From the stream of expletives that seemed to be going on in the background, it looks as if they take their gaming just a little too intensely.

Last time I caught up with them, none of them were even old enough to order a pint. Danny, their singer and regular winner of teen magazine’s ‘most fanciable’ polls was under attack from his bandmates. Has this scenario altered in his favour these days?

"It’s carnage on the bus, we are at war with each other playing Call of Duty 2. Danny usually beats us all up, so that reminds me, we didn’t give him a birthday beating last week! We did have a party for him though and got in one of those bucking broncos in," adds Tom.

On a serious note, the boys have just returned from their second visit to Uganda as part of Comic Relief’s bid to aid African children.The BBC charity show continues to be a great success and something the band have found rewarding to be involved with.

"Going back to Uganda was unbelievable, I can’t begin to describe what it was like out there and it makes you realise how lucky you are. I enjoyed seeing how the money we had raised had been used out there and we taught some of the local kids how to play All About You."

There is of course plenty of demand for the lads back in the UK and are busy putting the finishing touches on their latest single, Transylvania.

When the chance arises they like nothing better than to kick back in their recently acquired homes in north London. Much like the Beatles in their classic Help movie, the boys from McFly have each bought property in the same street.

"I don’t like going out much, I like nights sitting in with some beers playing foozball and writing songs," says Tom of his modest lifestyle away from work.

The 21-year-old shares a home with his girlfriend Giovanna, who has been accepting of his touring lifestyle. His favoured mode of transport about the city is a Mini Cooper rather than a futurist gull-wing DeLorean from Back To The Future, which gave the band their name.

"Unfortunately James from Busted has beaten me to owning a DeLorean, but i’m waiting for Nike to bring out those Marty McFly boots that do the laces up electronically!"

The guitarist grew up in London and attended the highly-rated Slyvia Young Theatre school. "Everyone at the school had to be in EastEnders and The Bill," he recalled with a chuckle of his time on the show. He even managed the dizzy heights of appearing in an advert for Curry’s.

His musical instincts were inherited from his dad who was also in band and taught McFly’s lead singer and songwriter to play guitar aged five.

After leaving stage school he went on to audition for pop group Busted but failed to make the grade. Their loss was his present group’s gain as he set about forging a new band placing ads in magazines such as the NME.

"Danny was an idiot when I met him!, no really, he was fine, I met him handing out leaflets for a new group and he went to the Manchester audition and was awesome.

"I asked if he wanted to come down to my mine for the weekend and ended up staying with our family for the whole summer, he recalled on their meeting three years ago."

An awful lot has happened to them in that time, from manic tours, kids TV in Kent and feeding rhinos at Port Lympne animal park to being forced to appear naked at the London Astoria’s club after losing a bet with its owner.

As for the upcoming tour, he says that there’s never much pressure surrounding gigs, just so long as he can stay off the injury list.

"I always get ill on tour- I have just had the flu for two weeks so I’m hoping that I won’t get sick.

"We can’t wait to get started for the new dates, the whole point of it is to play some places we’ve not had the chance to do before. We’ll be flat out with the number of shows but playing live is the best part of the job, getting up there on stage is an amazing feeling."

* McFly play Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall on Saturday, May 5. Tickets are sold out, contact box office on 01303 228600 for returns.

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