IN the 1990s, The Hoax were officially the best Blues band in Britain – taking the coveted award five years in a row from 1994.

By 1998 they had been inducted into the British Blues Hall of Fame, yet the following year it was over.

The band split and all five members went their separate ways.

Now The Hoax are back, having released their first album in 14 years at the end of last year and on Saturday they headline the Burnley Rock and Blues Festival.

“I’m pretty sure we played Burnley in 1994 but haven’t been back since,” said guitarist Jon Amor. “It’s going to be interesting to return after 20 years.”

The Hoax first got back together in 2009.

“We just did a few songs and started playing a bit together,” said Jon. “We didn’t have some massive fall out when the band split. I just think at the time we all felt the band had run out of steam and we wanted to spread our wings.

“The thing was we were all very young when we first started. I was the oldest at 19, and we’d all known each other growing up before we were even in a band together.

“We certainly had a hell of a time with the band. We’d toured the UK and America and experienced many amazing things.

“I’d love to experience some of those things knowing what I know now and with the benefit of being that bit older and perhaps wiser.”

Jon admits that getting together last year to produce the album Big City Blues was a strange experience.

“We were all established in our own right this time,” he said, “and I think we were all wondering if it would go anywhere but we wanted to see how it went.

“We actually went into the studio without any songs but then worked really hard to come up with something.

“I think the album and the quality of songs on it demonstrates that we are all very comfortable with each other.

“We also recorded the album ‘as live’ which is something we hadn’t done before and several of the tracks were done on the first take. Too often time in the studio can squeeze the life out of a song.

“For a blues band you want that spontenaity and a certain edge to a song. To me the blues has to be vibrant and joyous and connect with an audience whether that’s through a live show or a recordings.”

When they first burst on to the scene, Q Magazine described The Hoax as ‘the new Rolling Stones’ and their live sets were recognised for their energy.

“That’s what I like about our live shows,” said Jon. “We’ve never been sure what we’re going to do. We know roughly what we’re going to play at the start and the end of a show but if people want to go off somewhere we’re more than happy to let them.

“Even after a break from each other that trust and spontenaity is still there.”

The return of The Hoax has created a stir in the blues world. “We are getting people coming to see us who never got the chance first time round,” said Jon. “I think among the diehard fans there was a little wariness, almost as though they didn’t want us to tarnish the reputation we had. But thankfully they seem very happy with the reformed version of The Hoax.”