WITH six albums and more than a dozen top 40 hits to their name The Bluetones are bona fide Britpop legends.

We caught up with band vocalist Mark Morriss, as the outfit prepared for their headline slot at this year's Head for the Hills Festival, to talk boutique festivals, new music and his fears for the future of the UK music scene.

No strangers to the big stage, The Bluetones are veterans of the festival circuit, with appearances at Reading, Glastonbury and more under their belts.

However, on their first time at Ramsbottom Cricket Club the band were relishing their surroundings.

Mark said: "It's lovely. It's a really nice festival. I love this kind of festival where there are kids present. It keeps everyone on their best behaviour and it feels more celebratory and relaxed when there's children around."

Mark added that the band have a real appetite for festivals like Head to the Hills and welcomed the growth of smaller, intimate community festivals.

He said: "There's a lot more festivals of this size springing up. Boutique festivals I believe they're called. They're great because there's a captive audience and you also have to play to the majority of the town, so there's a sense of community and a completely different atmosphere to some of the more commercial festivals.

"And you don't want to play to a crowd that's too big. Here there's a good sized crowd, but sometimes when they're huge you feel a bit like a rabbit in headlights."

Head for the Hills marks the final hurrah of the UK festival season, but for The Bluetones there's no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Mark said: "It's been a very busy summer for us and this is a lovely way to round it off. It's a beautiful setting here. But we're hitting the road, doing our own little tour ­—just playing eight shows.

"It's a nice way of bringing the summer to a close before we focus on something else. Because the sets that we were playing over the summer were festival gigs, so they're hit heavy. But when we go on the road it's more of our own audience, so we can be a bit more adventurous with the songs that we choose."

Mark admitted that the band have no new material in the pipeline, saying that he is "not sure how desperate the wold is for another Bluetones record".

But with a more than eight year gap to their last release, Mark says the band find it hard not to get creative in the rehearsal room.

The vocalist said: "There's always a curiosity in creating and releasing new music because we're together and we're playing together so inevitably we go off piste and start messing around with new numbers and noodling with new ideas.

"But then you get back to just rehearsing the songs that you have to play. It's a strange place to be. I think there's an inevitability to the fact the we will start creating something new at some point, it's just whether it's any good or not."

He noted that the split and reformation of The Bluetones in 2015 has "a big part" to play in the delay and his concerns about any future release by the band, and is worried about the way new music might affect the band's legacy.

Mark said: "Because new music would go on the end of the catalogue there are questions of; would sit right? Would it feel like it was part of the family or like an unwanted child?

"And the danger is sometimes you're too close to tell if it's shit or not. I can't think that any artist thinks "this isn't very good but I'm going to put it out any way". Your judgement is so blurred when you're close to something. And there's nothing to stop that happening to us too."

Formed in Hounslow in 1993 The Bluetones exploded on to the indie-rock scene with their debut LP Expecting to Fly ­— which knocked Oasis's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? off the number one chart spot.

The outfit quickly rose to prominence in the world conquering Britpop subgenre ­— a style which Mark notes there has been renewed appetite for.

He said: "There has certainly been an interest in the live circuit. But there's not much else to go to for fans of guitar music.

"And it's a generational thing as well. People have grown up with going to gigs their whole young lives, and they stop for a bit to have families, and then they go back to it; because it's what they know and it's how they used to enjoy themselves.

"More and more people of our generation are doing that. They would go to see younger bands if there were more choice. But sadly there doesn't seem to be too much coming through."

Despite a wealth of talent out in the UK's live music scene Mark says he has fears for future of the country's musical output.

He also believes that young people's ambitions and interests have changed; warped, perhaps misguided, by the music and idols they are exposed to.

Mark said: "I think there are a number of factors at play, it's never just one thing, there's always lots of things intersecting. But I think it has something to do with the rise of the type of music we have had on television in the last decade and the nature of those shows.

"This changes the ambition of young people and young minds ­— so instead of wanting to be creative and interactive they just want to be famous for singing someone else's song. They don't care, they just want to have their picture taken."

When asked about hearing the influence of The Bluetones and their contemporaries in the music of rising artists, Mark also questioned whether the Britpop sound many claim to be inspired by is coming through.

He said: "I've not heard anything that I have thought that about. I mean there are a couple of young bands around and there is a bit of that. But its more a return to traditional song writing and melody, and they're often just drinking from the same fountain that we are; which is classic rock from the 60s and 70s.

"But music shouldn't always be backward looking. It would be nice to have a scene where music is redefined for the 21st century. There's lots of great bands out there but there isn't a movement. You do wonder what artists are going to be aspiring to in 20 years.

"It would be a huge loss to this country and these islands. Music has always been almost our flag in the world. Britain always does great popular music, whether it's pop, rock, dance. And this is increasingly less the case. We have always been pioneers in that field and it kind of feels like it's being undervalued and disappearing."

The Bluetones are currently on a headline UK tour until to May 25.