BANDS being offered a record contract on the spot by eager label bosses is considered an old cliché these days.

But it actually happened to Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

Huey Morgan and Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser from the New York band met and cut their teeth at a club called Limelight.

And it was after they played their sixth show there that the chief executive of EMI offered them a deal that night.

Fast told Weekend: “He came right up in that clichéd fashion, gave us a card and said: ‘Let’s make a record’.

“We met him the next day, we liked what he had to say, we told him who inspired us and who we’d like to work with in the studio and it went from there.”

More than 20 years have passed since those days but the memories remain fresh for Fast about the ‘lucky’ circumstances for how the band was formed.

He added: “In the 90s it wasn’t about these trendy members only, little bars.

“It was about huge clubs – 5,000 capacity, Ministry of Sound type venues.

“Limelight had all these different rooms with different music which inspired us to want to mix the sounds of rock, hip-hop and all this stuff.

“Huey was a bartender there and I was working behind the scenes in the offices.

“He was in a blues rock band at the time, I was doing electronic music and we kind of met in the middle with hip-hop.

“Because in the 90s in New York there was loads of great hip-hop coming out like A Tribe Called Quest and Biggie Smalls.

“We got together with my sampler and his guitar and just messed around and got really lucky.

“Yes, you’ve got to be able to write good songs if you want to be in a band that can last for years.

“But it’s really being in the right place at the right time. It’s so important the connections and hook-ups.

“We got really lucky so we made a point of working really hard to establish a fanbase and thanks to EMI Records back in the day we did that.

“We’re very blessed that we can say 20 years later that playing in a band is our job.”

Now, Fun Lovin’ Criminals are about to kick off their summer tour with a free headline gig for Warrington Music Festival on Saturday, May 5.

They will top the bill after an all day showcase of Warrington and north west talent.

Fast said: “It’s interesting because there’s a bunch of different bands playing. It’s a mixed crowd.

“Some people know your music, some don’t. So there’s that energy of trying to win everybody over. We’re all in it together to have a good party.”

The band will be rehearsing in London the night before the gig then head to Warrington on the Saturday afternoon after Huey has done his show for BBC 6 Music.

Fast added: “We’ll head right over to the festival then. We always like to have a couple of hours to get our groove on, check out the equipment, have a few drinks and mingle with the people.”

Their tour will also see the band play a homecoming show in New York for the first time in 15 years.

Huey, Fast and drummer Frank Benbini all now live in the UK but will be spending eight days back home for the gig and to work on their long anticipated new album.

Fast said: “The people coming will be hardcore fans and we’ve got 200 friends coming so it will almost be like a wedding party or a family reunion.

“A lot of our friends still live in New York but they don’t really hang out. But when we come to town it gets everyone together so we’re very excited about that.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to do for five or six years.”

Their new album is set to be a covers record called Another Mimosa, where they will completely rework some of their favourite songs.

It is their first new material in eight years.

Fast added: “We take our time. When we were younger our family was each other.

“We lived together, we wrote music all day and worked in the clubs at night. It was very productive and creative.

“Now that we’re older we have families and all live in different parts of England so it’s just a lot harder to write.

“But we still want to put out new material. There’s covers records but then there’s stuff like Mark Ronson’s Version that had the Amy Winehouse version of Valerie on it.

“Mark’s our boy from New York and we loved that. He took songs that people knew but he completely changed them around. That’s something we always do when we do covers and we did that when we released 1999’s Mimosa.

‘Huey was in a blues rock band at the time, I was doing electronic music and we kind of met in the middle with hip-hop’

“There’s a lot of songs that we really like so we figured we wanted to do a covers record again and call it Another Mimosa.

“We’ve been writing it the past two years and we’re going to go to New York to finish mixing it with Tim Latham, the two-time Grammy winning mix engineer.

“He’s just amazing with our sound. He’s mixed every record of ours.

“So we’re going to do that and then go and do a show in New York which we’ve not done for 15 years.

“A lot of the songs we’ll be testing out in Warrington before we go to New York so it’ll be a very ‘New York’ show.

“We’ll be playing a lot of the songs that our true to our hearts in terms of what we love about New York City.

“We go back a couple of times a year just to see friends and be a part of New York. It’s changed so much but so have we.

“This trip will be great because we’ll have eight days there. It will definitely bring back memories of when we did our first few records.”

Talking of their early records, Fun Lovin’ Criminals are still be known for their hit Scooby Hits which sampled lines from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

It is still regularly played on the radio.

Fast said: “We were very lucky that Quentin Tarantino supporting us saying: ‘I really like your song, it’s cool what you’ve done’.

“Again, it was being in the right place at the right time in the 90s. I guess it was one of the anthems to people’s lives at that time.

“Even now we love playing that song every time. It’s got this unique energy to it.

“Funnily enough that was never our highest charting song. That was the song Loco and that was because it was in a Miller beer commercial.

“It shows how influential radio is but really more important is building a fanbase.

“Because if you can connect with fans they’re going to want to see you for the rest of their lives.

“You hear artists that are on Radio 1 all day every day and you don’t hear from them two years later and it’s because they haven’t built up that fanbase...”

Fun Lovin’ Criminals will be playing a free headline gig for Warrington Music Festival on Saturday, May 5.