FOR popular Saddleworth rocker Charlie Whittaker, being handed an undercard slot on the hugely-anticipated Cotton Clouds music festival bill next month has been a welcome reward for all of his hard work on the local scene, writes Simon Smedley.
Former Saddleworth School pupil and mega-talented guitarist Charlie will take to the stage on Saturday, August 17, with his band, Stereohaze, which formed in March 2017.
Charlie, Ryan, Diesel and Harry are set to bang out a terrific set featuring hard-hitting numbers from their recently-released EP ‘Fight for your future’, and their frontman can’t wait.
Dobcross-based Charlie said: “It will be the biggest gig we’ve played so far – it’s going to be brilliant.
“The fact that the festival is taking place around the corner from where we rehearse is going to be amazing too.
“All the band saw Cotton Clouds happening last year and the year before. So, just to be asked this time was perfect.”
As well as fronting Stereohaze – the lads are also gearing up to headline Manchester’s Jimmy’s venue on Friday, August 2 – Charlie is also well-known on the local scene for his numerous solo and duo cover gigs, and his open-mic nights at various pubs in the area.
He added: “Luckily I’ve managed to make a job out of my music with all the other stuff I’ve got on.
“I’m gigging most weekends and earning enough money so that I don’t have to work in a DIY shop any more.
“I really never thought I’d end up playing my guitar for a living, though.
“Stereohaze will remain my main ambition and getting on Cotton Clouds has proved to me that I can balance one side of a musical career with another.”
This third annual live music extravaganza at Saddleworth Cricket Club again gives numerous local artists the chance to significantly, and deservedly, boost their profile.
Supporting Peter Hook and the Light, Ash and Alabama 3 on the Friday night will be the likes of Manchester outfit Saytr Play and much-touted Oldham pair Callow Youth and The Maitlands.
Including Clint Boon among their fans, Callow Youth are a fresh, teenage four-piece who have positively crashed the local scene of late, while the Maitlands have been described as ‘lying between a drunk Smiths and a sober Fall’.
On the Saturday, supporting the likes of The Wailers, Reverend and the Makers and Tim Burgess will be rising British R&B singer Jordan Max, from Hollinwood.
Flying the flag for Saddleworth and Oldham will be Charlie’s band, the ever-popular Coby Fletcher (fresh from touring with Coventry legends the Specials in the USA), vocalist Sam McGurk, Manches-ter outfit The Flatline and Dirty Laces.
Oldham rock n’ roll five-piece Dirty Laces have had a great 2019 so far and have just confirmed a headline show at Manchester’s prestigious Gorilla venue for later in the year.
As has been the case for the past two years, tickets for the fantas-tic 2019 Cotton Clouds showpiece are flying out once again.
For up-to-date ticket, full line-up and venue news, go online: