Toploader hoping to be dancing in the sunlight

BIG GIG ... Toploader are looking forward to playing at Bents Park this summer, says guitarist Dan Hipgrave (far right).
BIG GIG ... Toploader are looking forward to playing at Bents Park this summer, says guitarist Dan Hipgrave (far right).

TOPLOADER are hoping to be dancing in the sunshine when they perform in South Shields this summer.

The indie rock band are one of the big-name acts lined up for this year’s South Tyneside Summer Festival.

The band – best known for the Dancing in the Moonlight, a top 10 hit twice over in 2000 – are set to perform at the annual event at Bents Park, off Sea Road, on Sunday, July 21.

They’ll have no difficulty finding their way there as guitarist Dan Hipgrave is no stranger to South Shields.

Dan, who lives in Sussex with his wife Lynsey and 10-year-old daughter Honey, said: “My wife hails from Newcastle, so I’ve spent quite a lot of time in South Shields. I love it.

“I’m a bit of a regular on Ocean Road. The curry houses there are brilliant, and they’re so cheap compared to down south.

“You can fill your boots on Ocean Road for £6, but you’d be lucky to get a starter for that down south. I try to tell everyone, but they don’t believe me.

“I took my daughter to the fair when she was about seven, and she went on the helter-skelter, but she got stuck about halfway down and just cried.

“She doesn’t usually cry at anything, so to cheer her up I took her to South Marine Park to go on the swan boats and she cried at that too. She was obviously just having a bad day.”

Dan, 37, added: “We’re really looking forward to the gig.

“Ever since we first got together, festivals and outdoor gigs have always been our favourite thing to do.

“Playing in theatres and arenas is great, but you can’t beat the atmosphere of a crowd of people gathering together in a field, having a few drinks and singing along to music. There’s something very primal about it.

“Hopefully, the weather will be nice.” Toploader will share a bill with The South, made up of former members of the Beautiful South.

Dan said: “The South are fantastic, so I’m sure it’s going to be a great day, and I just hope people enjoy themselves and have a good singalong to us and the other bands.”

Dan says the band are going to be playing some new songs as well as old favourites.

He added: “You know, we had seven top 20s and three top 10s, and Dancing in the Moonlight wasn’t even our highest-charting song, but it’s the one people always want to hear, and we’ll definitely be playing it in South Shields.

“We’re going to play a few new songs, but it’ll be the old favourites mainly.”

Although Dan remembers it differently, Toploader, formed in East Sussex in 1997, notched up six top 20 hits between 2000 and 2002, the biggest of which was Dancing In The Moonlight, reaching No19 first time round then No7 eight months later.

For more information about the festival, visit www. or or call 454 6612.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki