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Page last updated at 21:44 GMT, Friday, 15 October 2010 22:44 UK
Holy State to open Biffy Clyro UK arena shows
Zoe Applegate
BBC Norfolk

Holy State
Holy State are touring Europe before joining Biffy Clyro on their road trip

An unsigned Norfolk band are set to play to thousands of people across Britain after Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro added them to their tour bill.

Holy State, whose four members are all from Norwich, will open eight shows for the platinum-selling trio.

The group will perform at the UK's biggest arenas along with main support band The Futureheads.

"We are beyond excited for this tour and feel very lucky to be able to do it," said guitarist Victor Janhagen.

"The biggest capacity venue is Wembley Arena at 12,500 people. And it's a terrifying and exciting prospect in equal measures!

"We hope to make the most of it," added the 23-year-old.

Record release

The tour announcement comes as the quartet gear up for the pre-release of their double A-single Medicine Hat and Sultan of Sentiment on Leeds-based independent label Dance to the Radio on Monday, 18 October 2010.

The band will go on to officially release the record on 22 November to coincide with the Biffy Clyro road-trip which starts three days later at Aberdeen Arena.

Holy State are still coming to terms with what the news means for them as an unsigned group who have yet to add their name to a long-term record deal despite bringing out releases on both Dance to the Radio and Holy Roar Records.

'Hard work'

"It's a huge deal to us, because we've put a lot of hard work into this band, and it's always great to see something happen through that work," said Victor.

"Having said that, there's no way we would have been able to do this without a lot of help from labels and agents - like Dance to the Radio - and it's really relationships of trust and friendship that are to thank for this."

Holy State's Victor Janhagen
Holy State's Victor Janhagen says the tour is both "terrifying and exciting"

Although Victor and his bandmates Rob Jarvis, 24, Maximillian Applin, 24, and Mark Smalls, 32, have never met their tour benefactors, their generous reputation on the music scene has dampened any fears about meeting the stadium idols.

"We've heard a lot of great things from friends who have already toured with them," said Victor.

"We have a huge amount of respect for them - they always seem to be considering and helping out smaller bands, giving something back," he added.

Leeds links

Holy State - who describe their punk-rock sound as "loud and warm" - got together in Leeds in November 2008, with Rob and Victor having moved to the city to study.

Since then the band have toured across the country and, in particular, have built up a solid fan base in Leeds, underpinned by their constant gigging around the city.

Their commitment to playing live involved drummer Maximillian regularly driving 300 miles back and forth to West Yorkshire.

"It was fine when we did that for shows but not for practises," said Victor.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Rob added: "We had to carry old heavy vintage amps on the train to Nottingham and various places and meet Max there but it was quite productive because me and Victor would write lyrics."

Victor and Rob moved back to Norwich this summer after they respectively completed their degrees in English and art.

While Rob is giving up his shop job to go on tour, Victor has been able to take a break from his internship.

Their new bassist and long-time friend Mark, who runs an energy management firm and is a trainee tattooist, and Maximillian, who has just started an arts degree in Norwich, will also have to juggle their commitments.

European tour

They are set to be away from the city for a few weeks - before hitting the road with the bearded Biffy Clyro they will criss-cross the Continent, warming up for Blood Red Shoes.

Holy State - who have been championed by BBC radio presenters Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq - hope the two-week European tour will see them match-fit for the arena appearances to follow.

"It's great having so many shows close together," said Victor.

"Hopefully we'll be a well-oiled machine by the time we come back to the UK and make no embarrassing mistakes!"

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