SOUTH Shields Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall says she can’t wait for her hometown gig – as the clock ticks down.
The 20-year-old is set to perform at Sound Waves 2013 tomorrow, alongside her bandmates, fellow South Shields girl Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson.
The X Factor-winning girl group are headlining the gig with pop band McFly, and will also share the bill with Shields star Joe McElderry, Britain’s Got Talent Finalists Luminites and boyband The Vamps.
Jade, from Laygate, said: “I can’t wait. I think this is the most exciting gig I’ve ever done.
“The last time we performed in Shields was for the homecoming with X Factor so coming back now is a massive deal for us.
“I’m so excited and I can’t wait to see everyone. It’ll be a really proud moment for me and I think it might be quite emotional as well – I hope I don’t cry!
“Shields is where it all started for me, and it’ll be amazing to be able to give something back as a thank you for all the support everyone has given us.
“It’s going to be a very special gig.”
The girls have recently been hard at work in the studio, laying down tracks for their second album.
Jade said: “It’s going really good. It’s a bit of a rush trying to get it finished and we haven’t had as much time as we did for the first one, but we’re really pleased with it, and it’s almost done.
“It’s got the same message as the first one and it’s uplifting, but it’s a bit more mature and a bit more R ‘n’ B.
“We’ve written just about everything on there. It’s really important to us that we have such an input in everything we do, because if you’re not going to put your own stamp on it, then what’s the point.”
She added: “We’ve decided what our first single is going to be but we aren’t going to start performing it just yet.”
As well as the excitement of playing in her hometown, it’s a particularly good time for bandmate Perrie, who has just got engaged to her boyfriend, One Direction star Zayn Malik.
Jade said: “She’s really happy and it’s so lovely. A lot of people are saying they’re too young, but they’re like an old married couple anyway, they’re practically joined at the hip.
“It was a bit of a shock for us but it wasn’t really a surprise because we knew it would happen soon.
“We’re just really happy for them and they’re really happy so that’s all that matters.”
Jade went on to say: “I always used to go to the summer festival gigs in Bents Park so it’s going to be so weird getting up there to perform for thousands of people with Little Mix.
“I remember singing there when I was about 14 or 15 and I opened for Tony Christie. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever done and I thought it was the most incredible moment of my career, so I can’t believe I get to go back there now and headline a gig with my band – it’s just surreal.”
Tickets for Sound Waves, which kicks off at 4pm tomorrow, are on sale now, priced £20.
To book or for details, call the box office at the Customs House in South Shields on 454 1234 or go to www.customshouse.co.uk. Tickets can also be bought by calling 0844 844 0444 or online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk, but additional booking fees may apply.