My Fantasy Band: Frankie Francis, Frankie & the Heartstrings

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The Independent Culture

Vocals - Paddy McAloon

He's in a band called Prefab Sprout. They're from Durham, which is not far away from Sunderland, where we're from. His lyrics are amazing, and I take a lot of influence from his songs; they have a lot of soul and emotion behind them. He's got a beautiful voice as well. They were quite big in the 1980s – they did 'Going Live!' and stuff like that. He's getting on now, but they put a record out last year. It didn't get very much attention but it just sounded like he was 21 again. And now he looks like a really old man, he's got a really long white beard, he looks like ZZ Top or something.

Guitar - Ian Williams

I first heard him when he was in a band called Don Caballero, which is an American math-rock band. Now he plays in Battles. He's famous for tapping on his strings and he does loads of loops. He's the best guitarist I've seen live, his technique goes unchallenged. I listen to his records regularly, all the Battles EPs and an album by Don Caballero called 'American Don', which is just an amazing guitar record.

Bass - Steven Cuthbert Dennis

I've chosen our bass player because he really is the best I've ever seen. He'll adapt this amazing lead bass in almost every song we do and he just delivers every time. He could be absolutely mortal drunk and still deliver. I was the initial bass player in the band, not the singer, but after two practices we realised I was crap so we got this guy in and he just blew us away with what he could do. He's just a really talented musician and he could adapt to any situation. He's kind of inconspicuous, no one even noticed him until he started wearing his big hats recently.

Drums - Sebastian Thomson

He's in a band called Trans Am and he's also got a solo project called Publicist. He's absolutely the best drummer I've ever seen live. He's all over every single drum on the kit. He is absolutely faultless and so skilled. He's almost like the lead singer because he's so prominent in the band.

Keyboard - Daniel Johnston

To my mind, he's an absolute genius. I fell in love with a track called "Walking the Cow". He's just an amazing artist. He's gone through so much, you should watch the film 'The Devil and Daniel Johnston' if you haven't already. He must be about 40 or 50 now, but he's so talented. And he writes these amazing passionate love songs, which are really moving because you know about the story attached to him and his life; it's just magical.

Frankie & the Heartstrings are currently on tour (