SOUTHAMPTON band The Novatones have hit the big time at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The popular indie-rockers will play alongside world famous acts on The Big Top stage and will open Sunday’s final day proceedings.

Singer-guitarist Anthony Pitman, drummer Sean Swift, guitarist Mackenzie Gordon-Smith and bassist Toby Hornby-Patterson are veterans of the festival and one of the very few bands to play three consecutive years.

Now they are set to play one of the top two stages as an unsigned act. It’s a huge achievement for the Southampton four-piece and something the lads are going to make the most of.

“We’ve planned for this gig more than ever before” frontman Anthony told The Southern Daily Echo.

“It’s not just sorting the set list this time, we’ll have a giant video screen behind us, fantastic lights and sound as well as the giant arena itself.”

“We know we’re a small fish on The Big Top stage this year, but we’ll put on a quality show and try to start the day with a bang” added Sean.

“We’ve only 25 minutes to prove ourselves and we know an early Sunday set can be tough so we’re working on some exciting ideas to try and pack the tent out” said Toby.

As well as a strong Southampton following, the band also has a devoted IoW festival fan base after playing a raucous Friday evening set on the Hard Rock stage in 2015 and in The Strongbow Garden Arena in 2014.

“Soon after we were announced for 2016 someone wrote on Twitter that it wouldn’t be the Isle of Wight festival without The Novatones, which was really kind and humbling” said Anthony.

“We’ve loved every year we’ve played and have always appreciated festival supremo John Giddings fantastic support. We’re determined do him proud again.”

“Headliners including The Who, Faithless and Queen all point towards another vintage line-up” said Mackenzie.

“It’s also massive news there are so many other Southampton bands taking part” said Toby. “It’s brilliant for the city.”

“We’re really looking forward to seeing Stereophonics on the Friday night” said Sean. “I saw them in Cardiff a few years ago, although it was rather a rush as we first went to the Millennium Stadium by mistake when the show was at Cardiff City’s ground!”

“Reverend and The Makers, who are first on the main stage, are also high on my list” said Anthony. “I saw them support Oasis at Wembley and heard they smashed The Wedgewood Rooms down here last year.”

“After us on Sunday are The Carnabys, a great London band, who I watched in our first year when we ended up camping next to them.” said Mackenzie.

Fans will hope to hear favourite Novatones tunes like Live for the Weekend, I.I.I, Tell Me and Avenue Road, but it’s also possible a new song could make the set list.

“We’ve written new material which is currently in pre-production” said Toby. “We’ll be working on that again after Isle of Wight.”

Another possible set list song is The Dream is Over, although nothing could be further from the truth for The Novatones at the moment. Things just seem to be getting better and better.


The Novatones open The Big Top stage at Isle of Wight Festival on Sunday 12 June. The Isle of Wight Festival takes place at Seaclose Park 9-12 June 2016. Tickets at