IT'S been a year of huge highs for boyband Lawson and out of all the gigs they have done, the one that particularly stands out is performing at Powderham Castle this summer.
The British guitar band were supporting Olly Murs and the Exeter crowd were as enthusiastic for Lawson as they were for the headline act.
"That was one of our favourite gigs this summer," genuinely enthuses lead singer Andy Brown. "It's a gig we've talked about a lot and still do. It was really good because we got such great support from the crowd and the weather was fantastic.
"Our live shows win a lot of people over. They don't know what to expect then they see we are like a rock band and are a bit blown away.
"Olly is one of our favourite artists to work with because he is such a lovely guy. We can't wait to do more stuff with him."
But for the time being, Lawson are enjoying basking in the limelight on their Everywhere We Go Tour with 14 dates across the UK. The shows include a stop off at Plymouth Pavilions on Monday, October 14, where Lawson will appear for the first time in their own right, having previously appeared as support for Will Young and The Wanted.
It is Lawson's fifth headline tour and will see them play to their biggest audiences yet. Unbelievably it was only last October that the band released their debut album Chapman Square.
All six singles from it have been top 20 hit singles and the album itself went to number four in the UK charts.
The catchy name for the band came from an unlikely source – a brain surgeon. Andy came up with the name after surviving a brain tumour and wanted to pay tribute to his consultant neurosurgeon in Liverpool – David Lawson.
Six years ago Andy was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma – a non-cancerous brain tumour which grows on the nerve in the inner ear. He underwent 17 hours of surgery to have the growth, the size of a ping-pong ball, removed.
Andy has since made a full recovery, bar a little hearing loss. It means his stage equipment needs to be set up specially when he performs, and he wears an earplug to protect the hearing in his left ear.
All that matters to Andy is that he is continuing to enjoy his passion for creating and performing music.
He says: "I've been playing the guitar since I was 10. I'm now 26 so that's 16 years, but I also used to play a lot of football. I got to semi-professional level but I chose music because it's what I love.
"I started writing my own songs when I was 15 and I've just kept on doing it. A lot of what I write about is based on relationships I've been in as well as life so it's all real-life experiences, a lot like what Adele and Ed Sheeran do."
Andy's love life is not only well documented in the songs he writes but also in the press. His ex-girlfriend is Mollie King from The Saturdays and he has also been linked to Katherine Jenkins and Miley Cyrus.
The latest lady to spark headlines is Kelly Brook, who stars in the band's video for latest single Juliet. It has been reported that since the shoot the pair have been texting, but Andy remains silent about whether their is any truth in the rumours.
"I can't say because a gentleman never kisses and tells," he laughs. "That's what my mum taught me! It was our management who suggested Kelly do the video because it needed someone really, really sexy in it, and everyone fancies Kelly pretty much. She said she would love to do it and we got on really well."
Aside from relationships and life, the other big influence on Lawson's songs comes from other bands such as Coldplay, Kings of Leon, and Maroon 5.
Andy says: "The biggest highlights so far have been opening for bands like Coldplay and The Script and doing a show at the O2 Arena. We've done pretty much all the main venues in the UK and we've just done an American tour. There's been just so many highlights. Every day is like a new adventure and we're loving it.
"Now we are really looking forward to breaking America. That's our next goal. We're foaming at the mouth to get out there because there is a gap in the market for a good live band who write their own songs."
For the time being though their focus remains on the UK tour, their most important yet in terms of size.
"We're absolutely buzzing," enthuses Andy. "We've been working on a new set list which has songs like Brokenhearted on it, the last one we did, and our new single Juliet. We will also be performing a couple of new songs from the new album.
"We've been working on new material in between live dates since the beginning of the year and can't wait to share the songs with everyone on tour."
The new album Andy refers to is a repack of their debut album called Chapman Square/Chapter II. It will be released on October 21 and is available as a standard version – featuring six new songs, including Brokenhearted featuring. B.o.B, and Juliet, plus the original Chapman Square tracklist – or the deluxe version which comes with a bonus disc of acoustic songs.
The hope is that it will also help the band break in America.
Andy says: "We've not released an album yet in America and have just done our first tour over there which was amazing. It was a sell-out tour which was so cool."
But being from Liverpool means the Americans don't always understand Andy's accent.
"I do have to speak a lot slower, " he laughs. "Touring is not a chore. Whether you're doing a small gig or headlining a big venue it's really character building and you appreciate it so much more.
"Everyday is a pinch-yourself moment. We used to play pubs when we got together and do covers and get heckled. And now the songs I wrote in my bedroom I'm performing at Wembley Stadium.
"Touring is very, very tiring, but you get to see the world and we'll never complain because we've got the best job in the world – so it never feels like a job."
Tickets for the show at Plymouth Pavilions cost £19. Call 0845 146 1460 or visit www.plymouthpavilions.com