Toploader’s Dan Hipgrave talks touring and new music ahead of LLanfest 2018

We’ll be back dancing in the moonlight this July as Toploader join a belting line up for the North Wales festival.

There’s only one place to be on Sunday 8th July and that’s deep in the heart of North Wales as none other than Kaiser Chiefs, The Hoosiers and Toploader take to the stage to rock out at Llanfest 2018. Part of the wider International Eisteddfod Festival of Music, Llanfest 2018 is the big festival finale, and with that line up of indie rockers, it’s sure to be a memorable one.

The International Eisteddfod has been promoting peace and goodwill through music and performance for over 70 years in the beautiful town of Llangollen in North Wales. It even helped launch Luciano Pavarotti’s career* and attracts over 4,000 performers and as many as 50,000 visitors across the week.

One such performer making the trip up north is Toploader’s Dan Hipgrave, who along with the band members Rob Green, Joseph Washburn and Matt Knight will send the crowds wild with just the opening bars of one very special track.

We caught up with Dan ahead of Llanfest 2018 to talk new music, touring with Bon Jovi and why playing the Grand National was so much fun. 

Can you believe we’ve been busting moves and singing the lyrics to ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ for almost 20 years? The iconic opening bars (du du du du du duuuuuu) that never fails to bring back memories of summer days, was actually released in the deepest, darkest winter of 2000 and proves the popularity of what was meant to be a ‘summer’ song. Reaching no 7 in the UK singles chart, the feel-good lyrics and catchy melody led to selling more than 600,000 copies and a certified Platinum hit.

Dan and the band have enjoyed being back in the studio recording their 4th studio album, ‘Seeing Stars’ which was released in May 2017 and have a jam-packed summer tour ahead of them, Llanfest 2018 marking the half way point.

Llanfest

No stranger to playing festivals and gigs in the North West, Dan said: “Yeah we played the Grand National a couple of years ago actually, it was brilliant fun. There were just thousands of people dressed up everywhere and by the time we came on they were all absolutely smashed, I mean we could’ve played anything, like twinkle twinkle little star and they wouldn’t have known. I love gigs like that.”

Llanfest 2018 is one of just 40 summer tour dates for Toploader, Dan said: ” I kinda like travelling, it’s quite good fun, but obviously working with people that you really respect is great, The Kaiser Chiefs and The Hoosiers, we know those guys and they’re great bands, everyone on the bill at Llanfest is so good. We’ve played with The Kaiser Chiefs a couple of times before and they’re such a cool live band, anyone coming to Llanfest 2018 is going to get their moneys worth for sure.

Toploader have travelled the world touring and supporting some of the biggest names in music, including Robbie Williams and Paul Weller. Dan explained: “When you’re a younger band and you go out on tour with a band like Bon Jovi, it’s actually awe inspiring because we got the opportunity to play like 25 European stadiums over the course of one summer which was awesome.

With brand new material from latest album ‘Seeing Stars’ to play for the crowds, we had to ask Dan if ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ has made the set list? Will we hear a bit of our fave track? Dan said: “You won’t get a bit of Dancing in the Moonlight, you’ll get a lot of it!

“Over the years we’ve actually extended it because it’s only like 3 minutes and 50 seconds long and so many people love that song that if you blink you could miss it, so its somewhere around 6 minutes now. What I love about that song is that everyone from kids to older people really like it. It just puts a smile on peoples faces and we get to see that every time we play.”

Toploader follow in the footsteps of legendary Welsh rock band, Manic Street Preachers who raised the roof of the Royal International Pavilion at Llanfest last year and we’ve absolutely no doubt Llangollen will be dancing in the moon light on July 8th.

Liverpool’s own Cavern Club is also joining in the Llanfest 2018 finale party as the date also marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine. This exciting collaboration on the Lindop Toyota  Globe Stage will see The Cavern Club entertain audiences with performances by their world class resident musicians. Click here to find out more. 

Tickets are flying out for Llanfest 2018 and you can get yours by heading to www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk or by clicking here. Don’t forget to follow @Llangollen_Eist on Twitter for regular updates and announcements on the run up to the event. 

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