Northants musicians set to play Reading and Leeds festivals this weekend

Ginger Snaps frontman Jay Brook
Ginger Snaps frontman Jay Brook

Musicians and graduates from across Northamptonshire will playing in front of thousands at the annual Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend.

Musicians and graduates from across Northamptonshire will playing in front of thousands at the annual Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend.

PINS will be playing in the main stage

PINS will be playing in the main stage

Ginger Snaps, PINS and Surge will all be playing different stages at both sites.

PINS, which features Northampton drummer Sophie Galpin, will be playing on the festival’s main stage in Leeds on Friday and in Reading on Sunday.

Ginger Snaps are playing the BBC Music Introducing Stage on the same days, while Surge, which features two recent University of Northampton graduates, are playing the Jack Rocks stage in Reading on Sunday.

Gingers Snaps is the project of Brooks and guitarist Lee Irons. The band will be making its full ‘live band’ debut at the festivals having spent this year playing predominately with DJs, backing tracks and singers.

“The success of Ginger Snaps has been a shock but it’s massively exciting for us to play Reading and Leeds,” explains Brook.

“I had a message telling me to check my inbox and there was an email asking us to play.

“I feel extremely under prepared but excited. It’s incredibly cool but I quickly realised I had a lot to prepare, I almost went into ‘project management’ mode.”

Joining Brooks at Reading this weekend will be bassist Dan Battison, guitarist Jake Crawford and drummer Jay Russell from ACODA, DJ John Swan and singers Stacey Pierre and Nicole Obu.

“We’ve done a few practices as a full band with this line up and everyone has been great.

“Jake and JR from ACODA are great musicians, with a live DJ and the girls singing – it’s going to be mental.”

Ginger Snaps’ 25-minute set will include their forthcoming single Anorak which is due out later this year.

“The whole thing with Snaps is having a party vibe, having more people on the stage is going to make that party even better, explains Jay.

“It seems to have done ridiculously well and we’ve had some great support which we me and Lee never expected.

Last year, Brooks played the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury with indie five piece OhBoy! who are currently working on their debut album.

Brooks added: “It’s a nice balance at the moment and the music is very different.”

PINS will be following Royal Republic on the main stage at Reading and Leeds.

It’s been a huge year for the Manchester based band who released the EP Bad Thing and the single Aggrophobe which featured Iggy Pop.

PINS have been busy writing new music, recently recorded with Jamie Hince from The Kills and head out on a headline UK and Ireland tour in November,

“I absolutely can't wait,” says Galpin at the prospect of playing the festival’s main stage.

“PINS haven't ever played Reading or Leeds before - I did a tiny bit of playing at Leeds once but this is next level - really excited to play the main stage.

“We didn't know it was the main stage to begin with, we just knew we were in the mix for a couple of different slots and we couldn't tell anyone for a while so we just had to sit on it.

“I never went as a teenager but it was really fun went I went playing for Stagecoach. I was there for the fun really and just did a bit of violin to earn my ticket.

While PINS are firmly established as a Manchester based band, Galpin was born and raised in Northampton.

“When I was a teenager there was such a burgeoning music scene - so many bands and loads of venues like the Soundhaus and the Labour Club.

“I was listening to bands like One Toy Soldier and Kapowski and all the local gigs were really exciting to me.

“I was lucky to get to play with loads of really talented musicians in town who helped me refine my taste and skills. For a while I was in every band going.”

Galpin still DJs each Christmas at the Lamplighter in Northampton. The sixth 90s night ‘Let Me Be Yule Fantasy’ returns on Saturday, December 23.

Essex four-piece Surge feature Alan Jones on guitar and bassist, Will Smith, who both graduated from the University’s Popular Music course this summer.

Will said: “Having been to Reading Festival a handful of times as a teenager, it’s quite surreal to be able to say that I’m playing there with Surge this year.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the band to be playing a festival that has a prestigious history of artists and is known worldwide.

“The university really helped in preparing me to be able to work within the music industry and it boosted my drive to succeed.”