THEY describe themselves as a ‘living, breathing mixtape’ and their live shows have caused such a sensation that the gang of three have been able to quit their day jobs.

Welcome to the world of Scratch, the mash-up trio whose twist on pop, funk and classic dance anthems have sent them to stages all over the UK, from weddings to festivals.

Formed from the ashes of two Warrington bands – folk band Vala and blues duo Symbiont – Em Davies, Joe Forber and Jonjo Secker get through around 30 songs per set by mixing them together into medleys and throwing out the rulebook in terms of their traditional style.

Em, a former William Beaumont High School student, said: “When we started, we wanted to take our instruments and create a sound that no one else has. We wanted to play them in a completely different way

“It’s the same with the songs that we do. We’re not your stereotypical covers band. We don’t do the songs as they are.

“One of the main reasons we’re called Scratch is that we take a song and we rip it apart. We forget about how it was originally written and we start again from scratch.

“Joe will start knocking out some riffs, Jonjo then adds some form of rhythm in with it then it’s a case of how many songs I can sing over the top that fit.

“It’s amazing how many songs work together and it’s ones you wouldn’t normally expect sometimes as well.”

Set lists can come from the likes of their favourite classic tunes, things they hear on the radio and suggestions from friends and family while a mainstay is their ‘Smiths medley’. That includes Beats International’s Dub Be Good to Me, Crystal Waters’ Gypsy Woman and Black Box’s Ride on Time.

Em, from Westbrook, added: “We’re from Warrington and one of the good things about that is Mr Smiths.

“So we like to try to take people ‘back there’ for the night in their minds. So we cover all those nostalgic dance songs. A lot of the Mr Smiths stuff heavily inspired us.

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Picture: Adrian Japp

“We have quite short attention spans I think. For us, it was like if we can get half way through a song and get bored then how is an audience going to feel?

“We want to keep the audience on their toes and keep it fresh and exciting. We have our featured songs that we make sure we always play because we know how a crowd is going to react. That’s the best bit for us when you’ve got people just watching then all of a sudden they’re jumping and dancing. It’s awesome.”

Scratch’s medleys sees anything from two to five songs crammed into one and the energy of the set comes from the fact it is always changing.

Em, 27, said: “It’s just like when you listen to a DJ and he has that moment where it’s all tense and building and you can picture all these people in a club with their hands in the air. Then they’ll drop the beat – and that’s what we do.”

The trio only launched in January 2018 but word has quickly spread and they now usually play at least three or four times a week.

Em, who used to work at HMV in Golden Square, added: “I think the most we have done is six shows in a weekend but it’s just a case that we love being busy and it’s a major bonus that we’ve been able to drop our day jobs. This is what we’ve wanted to do since we were kids. We all packed our jobs in last year at the end of the summer. It got too hard to balance things and I wanted to give everything to Scratch.

“I wasn’t able to pick up the phone or answer messages while I was at work and it was a case of taking a leap of faith on it. Having that extra time has given us even more of a drive than we already had. As Joe always says it’s awesome what three best mates can do when you stick together and get some ‘grandpa’ instruments and a load of effects pedals.

“We didn’t set out with this intention. We set out to just have a jam and play some pubs to earn a bit of extra money.

“We have this saying that Jonjo brought the fire. When he brought that sax into the practice room it was like a Simon Cowell moment. I thought: ‘Yeah we’ve got something here’.

“It’s just been on fire ever since. We’re all so proud of what we do. It has taken us to so many places that we didn’t expect. I think we’re supporting Carol Decker in June. I never thought I’d be able to stand on the same stage as T’Pau!”