Question: What is the connection between the Yorkshire Museum and Leeds music royalty the Kaiser Chiefs? Apart from Yorkshire, that is?

Answer: A quiet, self-effacing young man by the name of Lee Clark.

By day, Lee is press officer for the York Museums Trust, which includes the Yorkshire and Castle museums, as well as York Art Gallery.

By night, however, the likeable PR is transformed into pouting rock god – as bassist with up-and-coming York/ Leeds band Club Smith.

It is a slightly odd double life, he admits.

“One day last week I was showing Tobias Ellwood, the shadow minister for tourism, around the Yorkshire Museum during the day, and then in the evening doing a sell-out on stage at the Leeds Academy,” he says. “It is a bit bizarre.”

And where do the Kaiser Chiefs come in all this? Well, at the end of 2008, Lee and his band took to the road for a nine-date tour with the Leeds super-group.

Lee and his outfit were known as The Hair back then. And the tour didn’t go quite as smoothly as it could have.

The clapped-out van the band were using to get around in kept on breaking down.

“Day 8 – Southampton,” wrote The Hair’s singer/ lyricist Sam Robson in a blog. “The gig went amazing tonight. Although the lasting feeling of wellbeing from the crowd was dashed to oblivion when the key to our van broke in the ignition….We decided to forget it all and get p****d in Kaiser Chiefs’ dressing room.

“Day 9 – Reading. Woke up hungover. We return to the van, turn the key and… nothing happens. I’d left a light on to read my copy of The Guardian and the battery had died.”

So it went on. The starter motor blew so the band had to refill the van with the engine still running – and somewhere between Leicester and London they had a crash and the van was written off... typical life on the road for a wannabe band on the verge of making it big.The Kaiser Chiefs themselves were great, laughs Lee over a coffee at York Art Gallery. “They had a massive big truck, and they put some of our stuff in it. But we were a bit of a source of amusement. There was always this debate about whether we’d turn up for a gig.”

They always did – just. And the whole tour was an amazing experience, Lee admits. It should have been their big breakthrough. But what did they go and do?

Six months after the tour ended, the band changed its name: to Club Smith.

“People thought we were mad,” admits Lee.

But it just felt right, he said. He and his brother, Neil, the band’s keyboardist, had grown up in Bishop’s Wilton, near Pocklington, along with Sam Robson, who was a neighbour. They had known him for 20 years. So when Sam’s mum died unexpectedly, they were all affected.

The music the band played changed. “The Hair were quite fun – a party, dancy band,” Lee says. “Now we play darker, more melodic music.”

The Hair already had a big fan base in Leeds. As Club Smith they have been building that up all over again. But they have recently been getting some play time on Radio 1. “We did a Maida Vale session for them,” Lee says. Their debut EP as Club Smith, The Loss, is out on March 8, and is already attracting favourable comments. “The Loss sounds murky, melancholy and sinister, but yet contains powerful and striking melodies,” said The Beat Surrender.

And best of all, the band is about to embark on a new tour all of its own, taking in more than ten dates across the country, from the Wilmington Arms in London (March 4) to Captains Rest in Glasgow (March 8) and Henrys in Norwich (March 27).

York fans won’t miss out. Club Smith are due to play Fibbers on March 11. Providing the van doesn’t break down on the way here from Edinburgh, that is.