Festival Q&A:
Thousand Yard Stare

The one time nineties indie kids reformed in 2015 and are heading to the Gigantic Indie All Dayer, 27 May. Stephen Barnes hopes he won't break any bones

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Who else are you excited to see at Gigantic?
Great line-up to be part of, but have to be The Wedding Present doing George Best. That album was the soundtrack to college years and one of the reasons I wanted to be in a band.

What’s your best festival memory?
Ooh, back in the day would have to be main stage at Reading in ’92. We were relatively local and we grew up with that festival, and there was a lot of love out there. We played after Buffalo Tom (my favourite band at the time) and then handed over to Henry Rollins! Lovely guy as I remember. Worst was when I jumped off the stage and smashed my arm in four places, at a festival in northern France. We had just finished a tour with Jesus & Mary Chain across Europe and picked up a festival the way home. We ended up drinking rum with Linton Kwesi Johnson’s band, and I felt invincible! At the end of the last song, I ran to the front of the stage to climb the speaker stack, misjudged it and joined the crowd at high velocity from 30 feet up. Was a long and painful trip home.

What are your festival essentials?
Brandy in a hip flask, for little nips when it’s cold, and can add to a pep-up coffee if pulling a late nighter!

How does playing a festival differ from playing your own gig?
We are lucky to have some incredibly partisan fans at our gigs, so it always turns into a mass love-in. Festivals means a mixed crowd and we love that challenge. We are still very energetic and love winning people over, even if they don’t know who we are! Hence our classic Thousand Yard Who? tee-shirts.

What’s your favourite part of playing a festival?
It’s great to be with and see other bands you know and appreciate, plus the crowds are always jubilant. We can be fans for a day as well as performers!

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Thousand Yard Stare

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