PREVIEW: Frankie & the Heartstrings, Willowman Festival, June 18 - 21

Frankie & the Heartstrings. Photo by Ian Rook
Frankie & the Heartstrings. Photo by Ian Rook
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FRANKIE & the Heartstrings will join Indie legends Echo and The Bunnymen on the bill at this year’s Willowman Festival in North Yorkshire.

Co-headlining the festival is Peter Hook and The Light, who will perform the best of Joy Division and New Order at the four-day festival which takes place from June 18 to 21.

Frankie & the Heartstrings, who juggle being in the band with running Pop Recs record shop in Fawcett Street, have just completed a mini UK tour to promote Independent Venue Week and with new band recruit Ross Millard from The Futureheads on board are looking forward to a busy 2015.

As well as summer festival dates, the band are also due to release their long-awaited third, as yet untitled, album which will be released just days before Willowman Festival.

Lead singer Frankie Francis, from Houghton, said: “We are really looking forward to playing Willowman festival. We love playing all our best songs live to people who know us or people who don’t. We’ll be putting everything into the gig to make sure it’s a highlight of the weekend for everyone... bring on the summer!”

Meanwhile Echo and the Bunnymen are busier than ever after releasing new album Meteorites last year and completing tours of North American, South America and the UK.

As well as tracks from their celebrated latest album, music fans at Willowman Festival can expect to hear a set packed full of classic tracks from early albums Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and the seminal Ocean Rain.

Festival-goers can also expect to hear Joy Division classics such as She’s Lost Control, Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart, alongside the best of New Order including Ceremony, True Faith and Blue Monday from Peter Hook and The Light.

Now in its sixth year, The Willowman Festival has gained a national reputation for offering an eclectic line up of both new and established artists.

Next summer’s four day family friendly festival will once again take place at the Hillside Rural Activities Park in Knayton, near Thirsk, over the Solstice weekend between June 18 and 21.

Festival director Steve Williams said: “Frankie & The Heartstrings will be in good company at Willowman and we will probably be one of the first festivals to hear tracks from their new album.

“Echo and The Bunnymen had a fantastic 2014 and the band look to carry on gigging hard in 2015.

“They will be joined by Hooky’s band which started off as a small project and has grown into a major globe-trotting act. I can’t wait to hear that classic cannon of songs blast from the Willowman stage – it’s going to be amazing.”

Another well-known name released as part of the line-up is new wave songstress Hazel O’Connor who had huge hits in the 1980s with Will You, Eighth Day and D-Days and also appeared on the big screen in the critically acclaimed rock movie Breaking Glass.

Festival circuit favourites Dreadzone have also just been announced to appear at the festival, along with classic world music DJ Andy Kershaw.

Also playing the festival are Jeff Green Project, Ferocious Dog, Neck, Astralasia, New Groove Formation, Charlotte Yanni Band, Louise Petit, Big Red and the Grinners and the fantastically named The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican.

•Spring special tickets are now on sale for £75 (which includes four nights camping and free parking) at www.willowmanfestival.co.uk

Full price tickets for the festival will be £85, children 11 and under go free, while young people tickets (ages 12 to 16) are priced at £40.