Barry Hyde added to bill at North East festival

Barry Hyde.
Barry Hyde.
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After releasing his debut solo album Malody to national media acclaim, Sunderland’s Barry Hyde has been added to the bill at this year’s Chase Park Festival line-up.

The all inclusive family event, taking place at Gateshead’s Chase Park on August 6, will see one of Wearside’s most prolific songwriters take to the stage to showcase his solo tracks, which were partly inspired by a past battle with bipolar disorder.

The former Futureheads frontman said: “I have played Chase Park twice before with The Futureheads and Hyde & Beast, it’s a lovely festival, with a really friendly atmosphere. The Futureheads’ last gig was at the festival and I look forward to going back for a third time, but in a completely different way.

“I have yet to play a festival with my ensemble and Chase Park will be my third with them by the time it comes around. I have no idea how my music will work at a festival but I’m looking forward to finding out.”

Barry released Malody with a duo of shows at the Royalty Theatre in Sunderland and has spoken candidly of his struggle with mental health which saw him admitted to hospital.

He says writing the record proved a cathartic experience.

“I’m very well at the minute and feel fascinated by music more than ever,” said the 34-year-old of Humbledon.

“After 20 years of being a musician, I feel like I’m only just opening the door to what it’s all about. I’ve been very pleased with the album’s reception so far and positive things are happening. I’m sure the Chase Park Festival is going to be great and hopefully, with a bit of luck from the sky gods, it’ll be perfect.”

Barry, the lead singer of naughties spiky indie sensations The Futureheads – whose chart-breaking hits included Decent Days and Nights and Hounds of Love – released his debut solo album in June on Sirenspire Records.

The Sunderland post-punk band have been on hiatus since 2013, following the release of their fifth studio album, Rant, which has given Barry the opportunity to offer cover new ground in a solo setting.

Turning his attention to the live circuit this summer, Barry is looking forward to performing tracks from his album and hooking up with fellow artists at Chase Park on a bill that includes Reverend and The Makers, Ben Ottewell of Gomez and the North East folk outfit, Cornshed Sisters.

“I’m always blown away by The Cornshed Sisters,” explains Barry. “They are immensely talented and their harmonies and arrangements are brilliant. It’s always nice to play with Reverend and the Makers too.

“Festivals that are about the local community always have an atmosphere that is light and happy and Chase Park is definitely one of those. There is a sense of appreciation in the air that makes it very different from big expensive corporate affairs. The festival is soulful.”

Speaking about the current music scene in Sunderland, Barry added: “Sunderland is currently a hive of creativity and planning for the future of the arts here. The City of Culture Bid has given people a big dose of enthusiasm. So many of my friends are excellent musicians in great bands.

“The most active and successful band right now is Field Music, their most recent album is their most popular to date. They set an incredibly high standard of musicianship and are songwriters par excellence. There are some musicians that are coming through now that are making interesting music such as Rhys Patterson, Aidan Rowan, and Adam Littlemore. It is a very healthy time.”

•Tickets, priced £9, for Chase Park Festival 2016 are available from www.chaseparkfestival.co.uk