TOM Walker, who grew up just down the road from Warrington in Knutsford, will be performing at this year’s Neighbourhood Weekender.

The chart-topping singer-songwriter will be sharing a stage with the likes of Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Wombats and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at the Victoria Park festival on May 24.

Kara McCabe caught up with Tom, who had a number one album last year with What a Time to Be Alive, during his intimate acoustic show at Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe when he talked about Neighbourhood, the Brits and hotly tipped artists for 2020.

So, Tom what will your set list be like at Neighbourhood Weekender this year and how will it differ from the first time you played in 2018?

That’s a great question. There is a bunch of new songs in there obviously that we didn’t have in 2018 and a couple of sneak previews of new songs. I’ve got a much bigger band with me this time around too, so we have a richer, fuller sound.

We are currently in the Night and Day Café in Manchester where you are playing an intimate show for your extended play of the album. How’s it been playing these intimate shows?

It’s been really good. It’s been something that’s totally different and we’ve never done before.

A couple of the shows we decided to get a string quartet with the help of the lovely keyboard player, Pete Lee, who has arranged the string parts. It’s so it’s nice to push the boundaries out and do something completely new.

I suppose it’s nice as well that’s it’s an independent venue.

Yeah, I had my first legal beer in this venue when I was 18 on my birthday. There is a lot of history with this venue, it’s not really changed either which is amazing.

As we are in Manchester right now, where are your favourite haunts?

To be honest I love Night and Day, it was my favourite place growing up. I also like Soup Kitchen and Affleck’s Palace. I used to spend a lot of time at Altrincham skatepark and Stockport skatepark as well.

Winsford Guardian:

You won British Breakthrough at the Brits last year. Who is your tip for 2020?

I love Sam Fender. I went to see him recently and he blew me away. I also like Mabel and I really enjoyed Dave’s album, but I’ve seen Sam the most times live so I’ll probably be rooting for him.

Which artists are you currently listening to?

I’m massively into Billy Eilish – I think she’s cool. However, I’ve mostly been trying to keep my head into what I’m doing like writing new music.

I’ve been a bit boring musically, I need to see some bloody gigs to be honest with you.

What would you advise for a new artist starting out and has got there first gig?

Embrace it. Bring someone who can document it. Bring a camera person and make sure you’ve got all your social media sorted.

If you want labels to notice you, get your social media on point and make sure your music is not rubbish!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Following these intimate shows we’re not doing any headline UK dates for the rest of the year apart from festivals.

Then I’ll be getting my head down and writing this second album. I can’t write on the road. I find it difficult as there are so many distractions. I need to be in my own space and really concentrate on it.

Do you have a message for anybody that’s coming down to Neighbourhood Weekender?

Just have a great time. It’s always a good festival up north, you can’t go wrong.

It’s always a good time and everybody is so bloody lovely and there’s always such a massive amount of talent on the stages.

Just enjoy yourself and go and watch some bands you haven’t heard of.

Neighbourhood Weekender is at Victoria Park in Latchford on May 23 and 24. Visit nbhdweekender.com