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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 03:00 GMT
The Bravery's year as Sound of 2005
By Ian Youngs
BBC News entertainment reporter

The Bravery
The Bravery's debut album was a UK top five hit in March
US rock group The Bravery came top of the BBC News website's Sound of 2005 survey a year ago, voted the most promising new act by more than 100 music pundits.

The top five acts in the Sound of 2006 survey will be counted down every day from Monday to Friday, when the winner and full top 10 will be revealed.

Twelve months on, New York electro-glam band The Bravery are firm favourites on the indie circuit after tasting chart success and building a strong live following.

The last year has been "a crazy ride" and "a mind-blowing experience", according to singer Sam Endicott.

The Bravery singer Sam Endicott at Glastonbury 2005
The Bravery had little time off from touring in 2005
The Bravery's self-titled debut album hit the UK top five in March, their single An Honest Mistake made the top 10 and they have enjoyed a string of sold-out gigs.

"It has exceeded my expectations as far as all the amazing things we've done - playing all over the world, getting fans all over the world," Endicott says.

"When you meet people and your music is really important to them, that's probably the most rewarding thing."

'I don't have a home'

But with a punishing tour schedule, it has also been hard work, he says. "It's been very tiring and you feel incredibly lonely on the road.

"We never get to be home. I don't even have a home. None of us have homes, none of us have houses or apartments at this point."

Before a one-month Christmas break, the band did not have more than four days off in a row all year, Endicott says. "And during those four days you have to make a B-side."

I've never known more people but I've never had less friends
Sam Endicott
The Bravery
He says he was not prepared for the workload and loneliness of life on the road.

"I've never known more people but I've never had less friends. You're just surrounded by strangers all the time, which can be fun but also a soul-sucking experience.

"I didn't realise how hard that was going to be and how much it can challenge your sanity. But I wouldn't trade it for the world."

The Bravery now have a 52-date European tour supporting Depeche Mode to look forward to.

When that finishes in April, they will finally start recording their second album, which they have been trying to write on the tour bus and in hotels.

'Weird hype'

"That's the age-old thing - bands say it's impossible to write on the road," Endicott says. "We have found it tricky but not impossible."

The Sound of 2005 result came as a shock to the band, according to the singer, who says the attention and expectations created their own problems.

The Bravery
The band say some fans hated them because they are American

"When all that hype starts, a lot of people are going to say 'you're going to be the biggest band since The Beatles'. And then a lot of people are going to say 'you're the worst band ever'.

"It is very weird to live through all that hype - it gets very ridiculous and it has nothing to do with how you are as a band and how your music is.

"It's a weird thing and in some ways very good obviously because it gets your name out."

But the band think some sections of the UK public turned against them because an American band had beaten homegrown acts to the top spot.

"Some people hated us right away because of that," he says.

"I felt sometimes like people thought we were invading their territory and we certainly never meant to make anyone feel like that.

"We are and have always been just trying to rock."

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