Fender's band 'over the moon' to play their beloved St James' Park to sell-out crowd

Sam Fender's bandmates have told ITV News Tyne Tees they are "overwhelmed but over the moon" to be playing their beloved St James' Park to a sell-out crowd.

Dean Thompson and Joe Atkinson make up two of Fender's five-piece band, and share the same love for Newcastle United.

It is the first time the multi-award winning band, led by North Shields singer-songwriter Sam Fender, has played the stadium.

With around 50,000 fans expected to turn out on Friday 9 June and Saturday 10 June, they said the thought of the scale of the gigs is "terrifying".

Thompson, who is lead guitarist and a childhood friend of Fender, said: "It's hard to put into words. That bit before you play a show normally lasts about half an hour before you go on stage, but we've been feeling like this all week. You're just like 'oh my god it's going to happen, it's eventually here'. It's impossible to really put into words, we're just overwhelmed but over the moon at the same time."

Joe Atkinson, who plays keyboard, synth and guitar, added: "It's mad. All of our grandads and all of our dads used to come and to be able to say that you're playing a gig where your life's been basically it's an amazing feeling, couldn't be more proud."

The band was nominated for three BRITs in 2022, and won Best British Rock/Alternative Act. Credit: PA

All massive fans of the Magpies, one of the highlights for the band is getting to use the same facilities as the players.

Thompson said: "Our dressing room is in the players changing room and you're walking up the tunnel to come out here.

"We've got a load of imposter syndrome going on. I think we pinch ourselves all day every day anyway. It's terrifying."

Looking at the size of the stage, Atkinson said: "It strikes fear. I cannot imagine the feeling that will be. I'm waiting to experience it. I'm sure it will be amazing. I try and not think about it to be honest right now. We're just going to let the wave over come when it happens."

The band take to the stage just before 9pm on Friday 9 June preceded by support acts Hector Gannet, Holly Humberstone and Inhaler.

On Saturday 10 June, the support acts will be Holly Humberstone, Wunderhorse, and Ernie.

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