After joining One Direction Harry Styles has become one of the most famous popstars on the planet. But what about the band he left behind?
White Eskimo are now preparing to blaze their own trail with their brand of punk pop. And they are determined to do it without Harry.
Harry was the lead singer of the Cheshire-based band for seven months before bunking off school to audition for the X Factor. And now the teenage heartthrob is performing to millions of lovestruck fans and jetting around the world.
Former drummer Will Sweeny, 18, who is now the band’s frontman, queued up with Harry at the Old Trafford auditions for moral support, not suspecting that the audition would go on to change his best friend’s life forever.
He told us: "We skived off school and stood in the queue for four or five hours.
"He auditioned because his mum applied for him and I said ‘Of course I’ll come with you.’
"I just thought it would be an experience. I never thought he would leave. In fact Harry is still a member of White Eskimo because he never told us he was leaving."
One Directioners may be surprised to learn that 18-year-old Harry never wanted to be a singer – he had set his heart on playing bass. But Will, who launched White Eskimo five years ago with former guitarist Haydn Morris, convinced his classmate at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School to showcase his vocal skills.
He said: "It was a week before our school Battle of the Bands contest and we needed a bassist and a singer. Me, Harry and Haydn were best friends and we knew Nick Clough who was starting to play bass.
"Harry said ‘I don’t want to sing’ but I didn’t give him a choice, I pushed him to sing.
"The only time he sang before was when we were all together in the car. We played Summer of ‘69 and Are You Gonna Be My Girl at the Battle of the Bands and we won."
Alas, Will lost touch with Harry, who he has known since he was 11-years-old, after One Direction came third in the X Factor in 2010. The last time they spoke was when the curly-haired star returned home to Holmes Chapel a year ago.
He added: "I know that if just three or four times he said ‘listen to my old band’ it would give us exposure to millions of people. We have asked him. I last spoke to him a year ago. He doesn’t see me anymore."
The band took a year’s sabbatical before Will re-started the band with bassist Sam Greenwood, 19, and they were joined by guitarist Josh Clarke, 18, and Alex Lewis, also 18, who took over Will’s role as the drummer.
And they have been taken to the hearts of One Directioners across the globe.
"We have got worldwide attention because they know Harry was in the band. We get confidence from his fans.
"People from Australia want us to go over and play gigs and people in America post things on Facebook."
They also have starry support from Will’s mum, former Most Haunted presenter Yvette Fielding and her hubby Karl Beattie, who manage the band.
With an album already written White Eskimo are now hoping to land a record deal and will perform a free gig at Manchester’s Hard Rock Café on Friday, January 18.
And the band, who write all their own songs, are adamant we will never see them audition for The X Factor.
Will said: "We want to go down the route of making music ourselves and making it big because we are good.
"It is ruining music where everything you hear on the radio is a pay cheque."