FORMED just over a year ago, The Lancashire Hotpots are becoming a word of mouth sensation.

Not bad for a flat-capped comedy folk band singing about great Lancashire institutions as the Chippy Tea, weekly line-dancing and pints of mild.

Their act also homes in on 21st Century oddities - sat navs, meeting girls on Myspace, and the subject of their most recent single, He's Turned Emo.

The band's debut album, Never Mind The Hotpots, has gone to number one in the I-Tune's comedy album chart.

And embracing their new folk image, the band - previously lovers of dance music - no longer go by their real names and now only refer to themselves by their 'stage names', Bernard Thresher, Willie Eckerslike, Bob Wriggles and Dickie Ticker.

By day, three of the band are college lecturers in St Helens and Bernard is a fork lift truck driver now living in Coventry.

They spend their days teaching the youth of tomorrow and their nights writing about their idiosyncracies.

So what has prompted them to highlight the problems of 21st century life?

"The idea came to one of the band members while he was sat on the toilet," says youngest member of the band, 26-year-old Bernard.

"The best ideas often do!

"Our accordion player Dickie quite rightly said to us; 'Can you imagine if some of our proud Lancashire heroes had turned Emo?

"'George Formby wearing a Freddy Krueger top singing about self harming?

"'Fred Dibner with eyeliner?' "Pointing out this made us laugh so we thought we'd test it out.

"We didn't know whether it would fail miserably or what, but it seems to be going down well."

The Hotpots have clearly hit on something as their observational humour is selling out shows across the county.

They have even become a hit with Lancashire comedians including Paddy McGuinness, who the band have been asked to support on his UK tour later this year.

Bernard added: "A lot of people have compared us to like going to watch an evening of Lancashire tinged stand-up set to music.

"We have a real laugh on stage and just bounce off each other.

"It's not scripted at all either, only our songs, but nothing in between is."

Now they have formed quite a following of dedicated Hotpotters; Bowland Brewery of Clitheroe has even brewed a Lancashire Hotpot Ale in tribute to them.

And regular faces at their Lancashire gigs are proof that the Lancashire psyche they have tapped into could be a commercial winner.

But folk music is not their background, in fact it could not be more different.

This time two years ago they were DJ-ing at all night raves in underground clubs across East Lancashire.

Bernard said: "We used to play music to crowds who were pretty out of it.

"They didn't know their own name or have control of their bodies so they certainly couldn't appreciate our music.

"So it became not enough for us as musicians. We wanted more.

"So when the idea came to us we just went with it.

"We meet up most weekends with a week's worth of ideas and just go from there."

Greeting crowds with "Owdoo cockers" in the style of the Houghton Weavers for the iPod generation they are hoping one day soon to leave their days jobs behind and hit the big time.

"The aim is a number 10 hit." said Bernard. "We have tuned into our fellow Lancashire folk but now southerners are seeming to get us too.

"They like our northernisms and it makes them laugh.

"We will be performing in London again later this year after a successful gig last year, we're hoping our appeal is going countrywide now so watch this space."

  • See the Lancashire Hotpots at the Thwaites Empire Theatre, Blackburn, on Saturday, March 22; Burnley Mechanics on Friday, March 28 and 53 Degrees, Preston on Saturday, April 19.