Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess relishing Sunderland’s Split Festival

Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess

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INDIE icons The Charlatans say they are looking forward to returning to an old stomping ground for this year’s Split Festival.

Gig-goers to the third annual music spectacular at Sunderland’s Ashbrooke Sports Ground are eagerly awaiting the band’s headline set on September 18.

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess

The band, who enjoyed huge success with their anthemic tunes in the 90s, are still going strong and are fresh from performing at this year’s Kendal Calling Festival, as well as other summer festivals across Europe.

Frontman Tim Burgess said: “I used to come up to the North East quite a lot when I was 17 and first learnt to drive. I used to watch bands all over Britain and The Charlatans have always had a great response up there.”

As well as big names such as The Charlatans, The Drums and home-grown talent Frankie & The Heartstrings, the organisers at Split are firm believers in giving up-and-coming talent the chance to shine.

“It’s really refreshing that this is a festival with bigger names and up-and-coming acts on the same bill. I think that should be the done thing at a festival,” said Tim, whose biggest hits include The Only One I Know, North Country Boy and Just When You’re Thinking Things Over.

He added: “We look forward to every gig we do and we’ve played a lot in the North East before. I think the last time I was in Sunderland was to see New Order.”

Unlike Kendal Calling where Tim and fellow band member Mark Collins performed a well-received acoustic set with dismantled versions of the band’s hits, Tim says the Sunderland audience can expect a full band set.

He said: “It will be a full band performance, but I don’t know what people can expect just yet. We’ve been going a long time and we like to change things around and have some spontaneity.”

This year’s Split Festival, which takes place over the weekend of September 17 and 18, is set to be the best yet with world-class facilities now at the organisers’ fingertips.

They include high-spec sound facilities and a black-out marquee, previously used at Glastonbury, which has helped the festival to be hailed as a mini-Glastonbury.

Thousands are expected to attend the event which will feature dozens of music acts as well as comedians and a gourmet tent hosted by Masterchef finalist Stacie Stewart.

Tim said: “It sounds like a great festival. I’m really looking forward to seeing The Drums. I’ve known Connor, the drummer, for years. When he said they were starting a band I didn’t know what to expect but I went to see them in Manchester and they were brilliant.”

For Split Festival information visit www.splitfestival.com or click here for tickets.

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