THE MACHINE Breakers may have christened themselves after the 19th century Luddites, but there doesn't appear to be any anti-technology sentiment running through the band.

And with members scattered from Worcester to Oxford, e-mail proves to be a handy way of staying in touch.

On top of that, the four-piece have invested in some portable digital recording kit they can use to lay down tracks anywhere.

It could be a rehearsal in Blockley village hall, in deep Cotswolds country, or even a session at Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham.

Formed seven years ago, members have come and gone to pursue solo projects. The current line up is vocalist Julian Pollard, guitarist Simon Othen, drummer Jez Castle, and bass player, John Williams.

Two EPs, Rolling Stone and Didcot Jewellery, have been released under the band's own label, Tin Foil Records.

We tend to play at a lot of festivals, in Devon and Cornwall, so that leads people to give us a bit of a folk label," said Simon.

I think we're a fairly English-sounding band - a bit of a cross between Richard Thompson and Squeeze."

There's definitely a strong English flavour in the music, with song titles like Didcot Jewellery Shop and references to towns like Swindon.

Younger fans who do not remember Richard Thompson might compare them with the Levellers without the fiddle - another band named after a militant organisation.

And Pollard's strong, gravely vocals have helped win the band fans and enthusiastic reactions from around the country.

All the people in the band have gone off to play with other bands, but we seem to come back together," said Simon, whose forays into country music haveseen him making appearances on CMTV.

The Machine Breakers play The Marr's Bar, Worcester, on Friday, November 17.