Ash sounded like The Undertones by accident.

The ‘Girl From Mars’ hitmakers were often compared to the ‘Teenage Hits’ group when they started their career in 1992, but were initially confused as to why as they had tried to copy the sound of their favourite grunge bands.

Singer Tim Wheeler explained: “Actually, to be honest, we sounded like The Undertones before we’d ever heard them.

“We were into a lot of the Seattle bands, the American stuff: Pixies, Nirvana, and I think a lot of those bands were taking influence from the UK punk stuff. So we emulated the American bands but ended up sounding like The Undertones and the Buzzcocks.

“Then my English teacher, when I was 15, gave me a copy of The Undertones first album and said, ‘I think you might like this’, and we started getting comparisons to them a lot around that time.”

The band – completed by Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray – were still at school when they first became famous, and admit things got crazy for them when they first left to become a full time band.

Tim added to radio station BBC 6 Music: “We were starting to tour and taking bits of time off school, but as soon as we left school it went absolutely crazy – we did our first tour and ‘Girl From Mars’ was a big single in the summer of 1995, and we’ve never really stopped since then.

“Especially the year following leaving school and having that number one album with 1977, we were recording a lot and working [touring] non-stop, and it was quite a lot to get used to.”

‘The Best of Ash’ is out now.