SOUTHAMPTON’S rising indie stars Wild Front are set to take things to a new level when they return to The Isle of Wight Festival this month.

The band are no strangers to the island music event after joining The Strypes, The Sherlocks and The Amazons in The Big Top tent last year.

Now front man Jack Williams, lead guitarist Joe Connell, drummer Josh Betteridge, bassist Mike Flowers will open the main stage on the Saturday before sets by Kodaline, Blossoms and headliners Liam Gallagher and Depeche Mode.

“Even though we’re getting used to appearing at bigger festivals, it’s mad for us that we’ve been given the chance to play in the 50th anniversary year of the first Isle of Wight Festival and alongside so many great bands,” Jack told The Daily Echo.

“We didn’t think we’d be able to beat last year’s opportunity so soon,” added Mike.

The four-piece have also revealed details of a UK tour in October, including dates in London, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and their biggest hometown show so far at Engine Rooms on Friday October 19.

In August, they’ll join other break through acts on the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds Festival.

Fans heard an indication of what may be in the lads’ future sets when they played the Common People main stage in Southampton last month.

As well as favourite tracks like Rico and Physics, the prolific music makers’ set included new singles When We Were Young and Simmer Down.

Steph Newenhouse on BBC Introducing Solent has championed both songs and Radio One’s Huw Stephens also gave Simmer Down a spin on his show.

“We heard it as we were driving back from a gig in York,” said Joel.

Joe says they have taken a different direction with their new tunes after recording with north London producer Fred Cox, who has previously collaborated with Rag ’N’ Bone Man and Paloma Faith and will work on the band’s debut album.

Talking about the plans for their first record, Jack said “We’ve a set of songs that we’re proud of, but we’re still writing and are open-minded to include anything new that fits in. We’re going to release up to six tracks that will slowly piece the album together before its release next year.”

When they are not creating fresh sounds at Joe’s purpose-built home studio in Southampton, the band have been working hard to get known around the country.

The day before this year’s Common People they took part in Neighbourhood Festival in Warrington and, on a smaller scale, have been involved in Sofar Sounds, which sees up and coming bands play in music fans’ living rooms anywhere in the UK.

Their October tour sees them return to some of the cities where they have their biggest following. “It means everything to us to see things grow in places where we’ve played before,” said Jack.

Wild Front are on the Isle of Wight Festival main stage on Saturday June 23 and headline The Engine Rooms, West Quay Road, Southampton on Friday October 19.

Richard Derbyshire