Sunderland schoolboy Tom ‘Mouse’ Smith handpicked to support Charlatans at North East gig

Tom with Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess
Tom with Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess

A talented teenager from East Rainton has become a real life North Country Boy.

It’s been announced today that singer and guitarist Tom Smith, 13, has been asked by The Charlatans, whose hits include North Country Boy and The Only One I Know, to support them at their forthcoming gig at Newcastle’s O2 Academy.

Over the years, the Houghton Kepier pupil has built up a firm following thanks to his musical talents and on stage charisma and has supported the likes of James Bay, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Shed Seven and Frankie & the Heartstrings.

Tom’s no stranger to indie rocker heroes The Charlatans either, with frontman Tim Burgess discovering Tom on Twitter, after he tweeted a video of himself performing a Charlatans track, and asking him to play his Tim Peaks stage at Kendal Calling.

Now the young musician will support the band when they play the O2 Academy on December 5 in support of their latest release, Different Days.

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Tim said: “I first heard Tom a couple of years ago and we asked him to come and play at Tim Peaks at festivals like Kendal Calling and Liverpool Sound City. When we were looking at the tour we thought it would be cool if Tom opened for us at our Newcastle show - he’s such a talent. We think our fans will like him as much as we do.”

Tom said: “I’m really excited to support The Charlatans. It will be brilliant to play to loads of their fans. It’s a great feeling playing to loads of people. I don’t really feel nervous, it’s just the best feeling ever when people are cheering and singing along with you. I really can’t believe I’m getting to play there again.”

As well as numerous support slots, Tom has become a festival regular with appearances at Liverpool Sound City, Kendal Calling, Festival No 6 and The Great Escape Festival, as well as performing at the SAFC fan zone.

He’s also managed to release an EP and even hit the national headlines when he tweeted a polite letter to Simon Cowell declining offers for him to appear on Britain’s Got Talent, which was shared hundreds of times.

The youngster first picked up a guitar when he was six-years-old and he often uses his gigs as a platform to promote the Little Hearts Matter charity, which has helped him to live with a rare heart condition.

•The Charlatans with support from Tom Smith will play Newcastle’s O2 Academy on December 5. Tickets from www.academymusicgroup.com