TOM Chaplin has come a long way since he last took to the Isle of Wight Festival stage a decade ago.

Back then he was warming the crowd up for the appearance of The Rolling Stones as the frontman of multi-million selling band Keane.

After overcoming drug addiction, the baby-faced, angelic-voiced singer will be back there this summer showcasing his new solo material.

Keane were riding high back in 2007 when they joined the likes of Amy Winehouse, Muse, Kasabian, Snow Patrol and Groove Armada to get a summer of festivals under way in style.

"I just remember it being such a vibey festival especially playing right before The Stones," muses the 38-year-old.

"There were quite a few memorable things that weekend. The Stones definitely had everything done their way and I was told under no circumstances should I go out on Mick's ego ramp. I got a bit overenthusiastic though and couldn't resist it!

"I've seen him a couple of times since. We're both into cricket and we have a mutual friend with a box at Lord's, so I've sort of run into him from time to time. When you meet your idols, you realise they're just a person. But when you meet Mick, he really is larger than life. He's like a caricature of himself, but he's also a very nice man."

Keane, who enjoyed international success with Somewhere Only We Know, Everybody's Changing and This Is The Last Time, are currently on a break following the release of their greatest hits album.

After the band announced their split in 2013, Chaplin thought he was over the worst of his drug problems, which had seen him admit himself to The Priory in 2006. He had married two years previously, and in 2014 would become a father. He was also keen finally to be the author of his own music, but his cocaine abuse became a major problem again.

This is the story told in The Wave, transformed into some of the most anthemic, uplifting music of Chaplin’s career. This extraordinary record marks Chaplin’s recorded debut as a songwriter. As the voice of Keane, he was always singing his bandmate Tim Rice-Oxley’s songs.

"There's a clear story I wanted to tell. It's about my drug addiction and getting well again. A lot of people find it resonates, not necessarily because they're a drug addict, but because they've been through a tricky time. I've been given another chance and I really want to keep telling that story.

"I wanted to write a record about what's been happening in my life because the best music, art and creativity comes out of real personal honesty.

"I know some people think he's just another bored musician with too much money and I'm prepared for that, but this really gives an insight into my soul. I'm writing stuff I really feel.

"I had to do a lot of work on myself to get well as I'd got myself in such a bad place in my life. I was really pushing away everyone and everything important to me. If it hadn't stopped, I'm sure I wouldn't be here now to tell the tale.

"I had to look really hard at myself and do lots of therapy and opening up to people around me. The record came out of that process."

Music from The Wave, as well as a few old Keane favourites, will be showcased at an 02 Guildhall Southampton date on May 20 ahead of the Isle of Wight Festival appearance.

"I've just started out all over again, so it's such an honour to be asked to appear. When most artists start out, they just have one album, so I'm lucky. But it's great to be on a bill with so many great artists. It's incredibly exciting and I'm very humbled."

The singer doesn't rule out a reunion with his old bandmates either.

"Keane was a big part of the fabric of who I am and what I've done over the years. I think there's more of the Keane story to tell.

"I needed to take a break from Keane and do something different. My time was running out to be a young musician going solo! I'm really enjoying it and there's more to explore, but I may not want to do it forever.

"After everything we've done over the years, I don't think that can be the end of the story. It's such a big part of me and it would be a shame not to go back to it. But your guess is as good as mine!"

Tom Chaplin appears at 02 Guildhall Southampton on May 20. Tickets: 023 8063 2601 or

Isle of Wight Festival takes place at Seaclose Park near Newport from June 8 to 11. Visit