TOPLOADER INTERVIEW: ‘You’ll be Dancing in the Moonlight – Literally’

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With just over a week until Northumberland’s biggest free music event we caught up with one of the headline acts – Toploader.

Toploader, famous for Dancing in the Moonlight, and Doctor and the Medics, of Spirit in the Sky fame, will top the bill at Northumberland Live at Blyth Links next weekend.

A fantastic day of free family entertainment will return for its second year at Blyth beach with two chart-topping headline acts.

We caught up with Toploader lead guitarist Dan Hipgrave ahead of the concert, who said he’s delighted to be returning to Northumberland after supporting Simple Minds last summer at the Alnwick Castle concert.

Hipgrave said: “Strangely, it’s turned out we’ve come up each summer for the past three years. We seem to have done quite a bit up north. I’ve got family up here now so I’m a half-Geordie and I know the area, and I love it.”

For over 15 years, Toploader have earned a reputation as an amazing live band, with a stage performance that includes big sounds from their monster debut album, Onka’s Big Moka. It sold over a million copies and remained in the Top 5 of the UK Albums Chart for more than six months.

Toploader were the last British band to play the original Wembley Stadium before its redevelopment, and their cover of King Harvest’s US hit Dancing in the Moonlight became a global sensation.

Speaking about Northumberland Live, Hipgrave said: “We’re really delighted to be a part of it. It’s the first of our summer shows, which will be a great start because we’re very keen on the summer festival circuit.

“We take every show as seriously as the next, but it’s a real privilege to do things like this.”

He added: “When you’re younger you don’t feel privileged and as you get older you really appreciate these type of gigs and make the most out of it all.

“There’s a certain few songs that we make sure we deliver so people will be dancing in the moonlight quite literally.”

The all-day event promises to serve up a real treat of all-round culture, from music to street theatre, plus hot and cold food.

It also will feature a number of local bands, including Kosoti, The Caffreys, Tony Bengtsson Band, Shaw:Clark Project, Muddy Line, Rose Parade, Driven Serious and Melissa Rose.

The family festival is being made possible with support from Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland, with sponsorship by Phoenix Taxis (providing the free park and ride service), and Coastline Fish and Chip Restaurant.