The Frames have always been a band with a passion for live performance, the showmanship to carry it off and a respect for their fans that has ensured they did not fall by the wayside over the last ten tumultuous years. Since their earliest incarnation on Island Records with 1992's raggle-taggle-esque 'Another Love Song', The Frames have never stopped moving forward, regardless of disappointments or kicks in the teeth along the way. After being dropped from Island, they picked themselves up to record their indie pop album 'Fitzcarraldo'. Without money to make a proper video, they improvised with a security camera, captured the interest of producer Trevor Horn and signed to his ZTT label. Unfortunately, the relationship soured and the follow-up album was the subject of many delays and friction between the record company and the band. Eventually released in 1999, the low-fi American-influenced 'Dance the Devil' was preceded by a self-released five-track ep with alternative versions of two of the album songs. Finally getting their freedom from ZTT, they plunged into the recording of a new album – on their own terms.

'For The Birds' is The Frames as they see themselves, without the input – or interference – of a record company and Hansard is delighted: "This time we've realised how easy it is to put a record out. For the first time in our career we've taken care of every angle, every side of what its about, ourselves. It's very easy, just simple business." Now back out on the road, with gigs planned over the summer and into autumn at home and abroad, The Frames are on stage, doing what they have always done best. And Hansard doesn't intend to let the grass grow underneath their feet: "I'd really like to have the next Frames album out at the same time next year, that's my goal." Although 'For The Birds' is a hard act to follow, there's no doubt that, once again, The Frames will delight and surprise us.

Caroline Hennessy

'For The Birds' is out now on Plateau Records.