2019 marks 25 years since The Bluetones formed in Hounslow, West London. Living close to Heathrow Airport, the band included the noise of a jet plane taking off as the first sound heard on their debut album Expecting to Fly, and for a few years at least, their fortunes were sky high.

Thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums quickly followed, with guitarist Adam Devlin, drummer Ed Chester, vocalist Mark Morriss, and his brother Scott on bass, becoming one of the best-loved bands of the Britpop era thanks to hits like Solomon Bites The Worm, If..., and the classic Slight Return which was only kept from the top spot by Babylon Zoo's Spaceman.

Back in 2011, The Bluetones announced they were splitting, but the continued nostalgia for all things Britpop soon tempted them back, with the band's current UK tour stopping off in Wrexham in May and Mark making a return to the region with a gig in Chester in July.

"There's no reason for this tour!" laughs Mark. "We've got quite a busy year coming up with a few festivals in the summer and then an extensive tour in the autumn. It's just a chance to get out there and play some shows and meet the people."

A quick glance at Mark's website shows a man happy to play gigs every night, with one gruelling week showing him playing in Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham before heading more than 300 miles south the next day to perform in Brighton.

"It's not that bad as I live quite near Brighton, so I'll be coming home anyway," he says. "But I have got to know the A1 pretty well over the years and can pinpoint all the pit stops and we've all got our favourite service stations that have the sandwiches we like."

In summer 2017 The Bluetones co-headlined the Star Shaped Festival tour run by the popular Britpop club of the same name, alongside the newly reformed Sleeper. The event was a huge success and Mark will be joining the line-up again later this year with the likes of fellow Britpoppers, Cast, Space, Geneva and Salad.

"A lot of bands have been encouraged to reform thanks to Star Shaped," he says. "It's nice to see. I think it's a wonderful thing. You only live once and if you've been thinking of reforming sometimes you need something to kick-start that feeling and there's nothing better than to be invited to join the line up of a festival."

As a sign of how big they were, it's eye-opening to remember The Bluetones' debut album knocked Oasis's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? off the number one spot in the UK albums chart and Mark is more than happy to relive those times when he meets his contemporaries.

"It's not like everyone knows each other, because we're all from different parts of the country but it is nice to see people who you've got a lot in common with because you've been musicians for most of your life," he says. "Now we're all a bit older I think everyone is less competitive and less insecure, which makes for a much more relaxed scene than it was."

Intrigued by the idea of a Britpop league table and inter-band rivalries, I ask Mark if it ever got heated between the bands? "I don't think the rivalry was to do with the time or the situation but more to do with the age of everyone," he replies. "I think everyone is like that when you're going into young adulthood. You're all a bit lost and have that feeling that everyone else seems to know what they're doing."

Mark has released four solo albums, including The Taste of Mark Morriss, an album of cover versions, in 2015. He's also recorded the theme music for all of the children's audiobooks written by David Walliams and has been a full member of comedian Matt Berry's live band, The Maypoles.

"My fourth solo album, Look Up, is to get a full release through Reckless Yes records this summer," he explains. "I've always kept gigging as a solo artist but the band getting back together has been very enjoyable because these are my life-long friends and I always miss that chemistry that we have when the four of us play together. It's hard to define it even when you're in the middle of it but we slot back together really well and it's really easy to play with them - it's like being in an old house band and I've missed that. I enjoy doing my own thing but there's nothing like sharing it as a collective - it's very empowering."

Judging by the size of the venues The Bluetones are booked to play throughout the year, their appeal remains and Mark is thankful for the band's fanbase.

"We're very lucky and it's not something we ever take for granted," he says. "It always takes us by surprise to be honest and I'm always expecting to turn up and walk out onto the stage and be faced with an empty room. Thankfully it hasn't happened yet but of course it's not something we have much control over.

"I like to travel and be on the move. It's just in me I think and I get why a lot of people don't but I've never had that."

As for the future, with various anniversaries and celebrations coming up, The Bluetones look set to be a fixture on the UK's gig listings for a while yet.

"We're still enjoying it," he adds. "It's more an effort than it ever was to get together now because we live all over the place. We used to all live in the same house and now we don't even live on the same continent! My brother lives in Tokyo now, so everything has be scheduled a lot tighter than it used to be but I don't see things winding down for us, especially when I think about our enthusiasm and commitment to it and we really value our time together.

"It's inevitable too that when we get together and practice and go through old songs and relearn and relive material, that after a while we start jamming again and things will start to happen. At the moment there's no concrete plans to release anything but we'll just see how it goes. It's nice not to have a deadline!"

The Bluetones play William Aston Hall, Wrexham on Friday, May 24, 2019. Tickets from www.seetickets.com or call 0844 249 1000.