Alabama Shakes lead-singer Brittany Howard was delivering mail in the small rural town of Athens, Alamaba when the band that she'd founded with bass player Zac Cockrell at high school started getting some profile. Zac worked at the veterinary clinic and rumour has it that drummer Steve was night-watchman at the local nuclear power plant. It has all changed since the group's no frills rock'n'soul album Boys & Girls caught the attention of highly regarded independent label Rough Trade. Now they tour with Jack White and have a Southern hemisphere trip planned for January 2013. Nick Atkinson called Brittany who was enjoying a lovely afternoon on the veranda of her home in Athens.