For Joe Smith it is a vision he has held from the age of 13 – and one that is starting to become reality.

The 37-year-old, from Erskine, is the drummer and vocalist for 60s-inspired psychedelic rock band The Fast Camels.

Likened to influential music bands, such as The Who and The Doors, the five-piece are now making a comeback with their long-awaited second album, following 2007’s debut record The Magic Optician.

The rock group will release Dead Rooms and Butterfly Dreams on May 5, performing a special gig at Stereo in Glasgow on May 9 to help promote the record.

And, despite having been away from the band for almost six years, drummer Joe, of West Freelands, told how it was “fate” to be back with his bandmates.

“It sounds a bit cheesy but I honestly feel it was fate that I got back with the band,” Joe said.

“Myself and Drew (lead singer) have been pals since we were about four years old and first decided to set up a band when we were 13 at school.

“We’d started up a few different bands before setting up The Fast Camels in 2002, but I had to leave for quite some time because my wife became really ill.

“I was away from the band for about six years but felt empty during that whole time because I wasn’t in it.

“I actually felt pain not being in the band. It was like a hole in my life, but now I’m back I feel content again.” It has been a successful past year for The Fast Camels – consisting of of Joe (drummer), Paisley man Andy Rennie, (bassist) Drew Sturgeon (lead singer) Mark O’Connor (guitar and vocals) and Allan McGarry (Keyboard) – who have travelled far and wide to showcase their music.

Having performed in Holland, Liverpool, Glasgow’s King Tuts, as well as the tragic Clutha Bar, the band are now determined to reach out to bigger audiences in the hope they’ll be signed up by a record label.

“The sound has changed a lot within the new album, it’s definitely matured,” Joe said.

“Not meaning to blow our own trumpet or anything but when I listen to the album I get goosebumps, Mark and Drew have done amazingly with songwriting.

“If you compare it to the first album it’s like night and day, our music is very complex, quite dark and often humorous.

“We’re a very adventurous band. The songwriting on this album shows just how much we’ve moved on from the first.” The group, who have enjoyed airtime on Radio Clyde and even as far as Phoenix, are now gearing up for their album launch gig in Glasgow.

But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride for the group, who recently saw yet another a change in membership, with bassist Jason Sweeney departing and being replaced by Andy Rennie.

Dad-of-one Joe explained: “We’ve had a lot of line-up changes in the band, but I think where we are now, we glue together perfectly.

“You could have Slash in the band playing but if he doesn’t fit, it wouldn’t work.

“I think the fact we all share the same sense of humour has a big part in that.

“One of the unique things about our music is that it has a humorous edge to it, a lot of the songs we sing are about people we know.

“I think the thing people love about our music is that it’s different and has a lot of different meanings for everyone.” The band’s unusual name is just one thing which makes the group memorable, despite the members often being questioned about where it came from.

“It came from a bit of a drunken night,” Joe said.

“One night we were sitting in a bar and one of the guy’s hit out with, ‘I wonder how fast a camel runs’. We all started laughing and that’s when the name The Fast Camels came about.

“It sort of stuck from there. People are starting to get used to the name now though.

“We’re very excited to be playing in Stereo again as it’s a great venue.

“The band are all very proud of the new album and I’m certain it’s going to take us far.” The Fast Camels will be showcasing their second album on May 9 at Stereo in Glasgow.

To find out more about the band and upcoming shows log onto their website at