THE Futureheads gave Sunderland kids the heads up about the city’s biggest music festival.
Singing a cappella tracks from their latest album Rant, the four-piece are this week touring Wearside schools to give them a flavour of their sound while promoting Split Festival.
The home-grown talent will headline the Sunday section of the festival they helped to found four years ago which takes place at Ashbrooke Sports Ground from September 21-23.
Their gig at Castle View Academy was particularly touching for band member Ross Millard who attended the school from 1993-98.
“This is my first time back here since I left,” he said. “It’s been completely rebuilt since then, but a couple of my old teachers are here so I’ve been chatting to them.
“It’s weird. You speak to them on different terms when you’ve been gone 15 years, but they seem to have followed the band.”
He added: “The facilities they have here now are something we could have never dreamed of. Music wasn’t a GCSE then. We just used to go to the art department at lunchtime and mess around with acoustic guitars. Music is given a lot more importance now because school is about experiences, not just text books.”
The band performed a three-song set while also hosting a music quiz to give teenagers the chance to win tickets to the three day extravaganza.
This year organisers have lowered prices in a bid to encourage younger people and families to attend the festival.
It will kick-off in style with a free film Friday showing Shrek and School of Rock on the big screen at Ashbrooke Sports Club.
The headline act for the Saturday of the festival will be Johnny Rotten’s band, PiL, with dozens of other acts lined up to perform including Pulled Apart By Horses, Saint Etienne, The Unthanks, Field Music and Kyla La Grange.
Ross added: “A lot of young people have an enthusiasm for music, but it’s important for them to know that there’s a music festival right on their doorstep.
“This year we have introduced a teen ticket to encourage people in the younger age bracket to come along.”
Emma Binyon, assistant vice principal at Castle View Academy, said: “It’s been fabulous having the band here today. It’s good for pupils to have role models who went to the school so they can see what can be achieved.”
The Futureheads are also making appearances at Thornhill School, The Venerable Bede School, Sandhill View, Sunderland College, Farringdon School, Mill Hill Primary, Barbara Preistman School, St Aidan’s and St Anthony’s.
l Tickets to Split Festival are £25 per day or £40 for a weekend ticket. Under-18s and students can buy tickets priced £17.50 for a day or £30 for the weekend.
To book tickets visit www.splitfestival.com