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Scottish rockers The Fratellis are preparing to headline Rochdale’s Feel Good Festival on Saturday 20 August. Here frontman John Fratelli tells Big Issue North about his best festival memory.

How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
We’re just a rock and roll band, as dull as that may sound. That’s all we are.

Tell us what you’ve been up to since last summer.
We had a record out in August last year, so from August until the end of last year we were on tour. We did a US tour, a UK tour. This year we’ve been quieter but we did some shows in Russia at the beginning of the year – just the usual band stuff.

What can we expect from your set at Feel Good Festival?
We’re careful to play the songs that people are most familiar with, and then we throw in a bunch of newer songs that they might not be familiar with, but they sit well together.

If you could curate your own festival, with artists dead or alive, what would the lineup look like?
The thing is there’s a festival on in Coachella Valley in October, and the lineup is almost the lineup that I would have picked. Bob Dylan is on, The Stones are there, Paul McCartney is there, Roger Waters , Pink Floyd. It’s almost the perfect lineup for a guy like me. I would throw Springsteen and Leonard Cohen in there as well, because I’m just an old guy really.

What’s your best festival memory?
The best ones are probably the ones you can’t remember, for obvious reasons. Probably the first time we walked out and there was a huge audience there – I guess that would have been the first time we played the main stage at T in the Park. At that point we weren’t used to playing to fields full of people. We were totally taken by surprise. That sticks in the memory.

What’s in your festival survival kit?
I’ve never been to one as a punter – I don’t know. I’ve only ever done them with a tour bus and been taken care of. I guess something to keep you dry, and something to make you not care that you’re not dry.

Apart from music, what should the ideal festival have?
I don’t eat meat, so somebody like me would appreciate food that isn’t just burgers. I can eat chips, but you get bored of chips. I don’t know, toilets, good toilets.

Antonia Charlesworth

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