Revive caught up with Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Walker to find out a bit more about what we can expect from his set.

Neighbourhood Weekender returns to Victoria Park, May 23-24.

The festival will be a huge hometown return for Ian Brownas this will be his first major solo headline performance in almost a decade and also marks four years since The Stone Roses took over Manchester’s Etihad Stadium for four nights.

Brown is joined by energetic, arena-filling alternative rock flag bearers, Catfish And The Bottlemen, who headline Neighbourhood Weekender following a major sold-out arena tour, global festival appearances and new album The Balance.
Celebrated live artists Sam Fender, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Shed Seven, Miles Kane, The Coral and Tom Walker will take to stage alongside a host of indie heavyweights, including Sundara Karma, Reverend and the Makers and Pale Waves.
Walker is one of the most successful breakthrough stars of the past few years. His song, Leave a Light On, has been a hit in various countries worldwide. He enjoyed a phenomenal 2019 with the release his debut album What a Time to Be Alive in early March, with the record topping the charts and becoming the fastest-selling debut album by an artist in the last two years.
Prior to the release of the record, Walker took home his first-ever BRIT Award for Best British Breakthrough Act at the star-studded ceremony at London’s The O2 in February. He used his acceptance speech to thank his grandmother, who was watching back at home in Scotland.

So, Tom what will your setlist be like at Neighbourhood Weekender this year and how will it differ from the first time you played in 2018?

Tom: That’s a great question! There is a bunch of new songs in there obviously that we didn’t have in 2018 and a couple of sneak previews of new songs. I’ve got a much bigger band with me this time around too, so we have a richer, fuller sound.

So, we are currently in the Night & Day Café in Manchester where you are playing an intimate show for your extended play of the album. How’s it been playing these intimate shows?

Tom: It’s been really good! It’s been something that’s totally different, and we’ve never done before. A couple of the shows we decided to get a string quartet with the help of the lovely keyboard player, Mr Pete Lee, who has arranged the string arrangements. It’s so it’s nice to push the boundaries out and do something completely new.

I suppose it’s nice as well that’s it’s an independent venue.

Tom: Yeah, I had my first legal beer at this venue when I was 18 years old on my birthday. There is a lot of history with this venue, and it’s not really changed either, which is fantastic.

As we are in Manchester right now, where are your favourite haunts?

Tom: To be honest I love Night & Day, it was my favourite place growing up. I also like the Soup Kitchen and Affleck’s Palace. I used to spend a lot of time at Alty skatepark and Stockport skatepark as well.

You won British Breakthrough at the Brits last year. Who is your tip for 2020?

Tom: Aaaahhhh I don’t know! I love Sam Fender; I went to see him recently, and he blew me away. I also really like Mabel, and I really enjoyed Dave’s album. I’ve probably seen Sam the most times live so I’ll probably be rooting for him.

Which artists are you listening to at the moment?

Tom: I got massively into Billy Eilish; I think she’s cool. I’ve been enjoying her stuff. I’ve mostly been trying to keep my head into what I’m doing, like writing new music. I’ve been a bit boring, musically, and I need to see some bloody gigs, to be honest with you.

What would you advise for a new artist starting out who has got there first gig coming up?

Tom: Embrace it. Bring someone who can document it. Bring a camera person and make sure you’ve got all your social media sorted. If you want labels to notice you, get your social media on point and make sure your music is not shit.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Tom: I think we’re doing between 25 to 30 festivals. We’re not doing any UK dates for the rest of the year apart from the current intimate tour. I’ll be getting my head down and writing this second album. I can’t write on the road; I find it difficult as there are so many distractions. I need to be in my own space and really concentrate on it.

Do you have a message for anybody that’s coming down to Neighbourhood Weekender?

Tom: Just have a great time! It’s always a good festival up north in it; you can’t go wrong. It’s still a good time, and everybody is so bloody lovely and these always such a massive amount of talent on the stages. Just enjoy yourself and go and watch some bands you haven’t heard of.

For more info & tickets check out www.neighbourhoodfestival.com/