Electric Fields flying high after landing Noel Gallagher, James and Leftfield as headliners

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are still hitting the heights, having notched up their third No 1 album in a row, and Dumfries and Galloway's Electric Fields festival is flying high too after signing them up as one of its headliners for 2018.

Noel Gallagher at 2016's Kendal Calling. Photo: Tom Martin.
Noel Gallagher at 2016's Kendal Calling. Photo: Tom Martin.

The band, formed by Gallagher in 2010 after Oasis split up the year before, are one of three headliners announced for this year’s festival, taking place over three days this time round, up from two since 2016 and one to begin with.

The others are alternative rock veterans James and electronic music act Leftfield.

That array of big names to top the bill at 17th century Drumlanrig Castle, 20 miles north of Dumfries, from Thursday, August 30, to Saturday, September 1, backed up by a strong supporting cast, makes this year’s line-up easily the best yet.

Alternative rock act James.

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    It follows on from Fatherson in 2014, Blanck Mass and King Creosote in 2015, Primal Scream and the Charlatans in 2016 and Frightened Rabbit and Dizzee Rascal last year.

    Also on the bill for this year are acts including Idlewild, Young Fathers, Ezra Furman, Idles, the Coral, Ghostpoet and Teenage Fanclub, with more yet to be announced.

    As well as all three of the High Flying Birds’ LPs to date having topped the charts – their self-titled debut in 2011, Chasing Yesterday in 2015 and Who Built the Moon? last year – the band, formed by Manchester-born Gallagher, 50, have two top 20 singles to their name, The Death of You and Me and AKA ... What a Life!, a No 15 and No 20 respectively, both in 2011.

    James, also formed in Manchester, albeit almost three decades earlier in 1982 and together from then until 2001 and since 2007, have only topped the UK album chart once, with their 1998 compilation The Best of James, but they have made it to No 2 four times – with Gold Mother in 1990, Seven in 1992, Millionaires in 1999 and Girl at the End of the World, their 12th and latest full-length LP, in 2016 – and into the top 10 a further three times – with Laid, a No 3 in 1992; Whiplash, a No 9 in 1997; and comeback LP Hey Ma, a No 10 in 2008.

    Alternative rock act James.

    Frontman Tim Booth and his bandmates also have three top 10 singles on their CV – Sit Down, a No 2 in 1991 and No 7 in remixed form in 1998; Sound, a No 9 in 1991; and She’s a Star, a No 9 in 1997.

    London’s Leftfield, together from 1989 t0 2002 and since 2010, also have just the one chart-topper to their name, 1999’s Rhythm and Stealth, but both of their other LPs have made the top 10, Leftism to No 3 in 1995 and Alternative Light Source to No 6 in 2015.

    They’ve also had one top 10 single, Afrika Shox, featuring Afrika Bambaataa, a No 7 in 1999.

    Festival co-founder Nick Roberts said: “This is going to be so fun I honestly can’t wait.

    “We’ve been working really hard over the past few years, and we’re just chuffed to be able to be putting on what’s set to be another great weekend of music, with our always-excellent audience, in such a beautiful setting.”

    Tickets for the festival, on the Queensberry Estate, owned by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, cost £105. For details, go to www.electricfieldsfestival.com

    Electric Fields is one of three UK festivals Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are playing at this summer season, the others being Warrington’s Neighbourhood Weekender in May and Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival in July.

    They can also be seen at Radio 2’s Big Weekend at Scone Palace in Perthshire in May, alongside Amy MacDonald, Julie Fowlis and Simple Minds.

    James can be seen at three other UK festivals this year, Suffolk’s Latitude Festival and Cumbria’s Kendal Calling, both in July, and Glen’s Party at the Palace at Linlithgow in West Lothian in August.

    Leftfield are on at two other festivals, Arcadia in London in May and the Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival in Glasgow, also in May.