American Pie star to play Gloucester Guildhall Underground Festival
American Pie star Thomas Ian Nicholas is heading to Gloucester this weekend to perform at an emerging bands festival at the Guildhall.
The actor, best known for his role as Kevin Myers in the US smash hit films, will perform with his group, the Thomas Nicholas Band, at the Gloucester venue on Sunday.
The band will join more than 60 others performing at Underground Festival over the weekend.
The festival, which is now in its third year and free to attend, is played by upcoming and often unsigned bands, described by organisers as “on the cusp of being big”.
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The line-up in previous years has included The Joy Formidable, who went on to tour with Foo Fighters, and Morning Parade, who are due to tour with Smashing Pumpkins in October and November.
Brother, who played the festival in 2010, went on to appear on the cover of NME, and are currently recording their debut album with Blur producer Stephen Street.
Joe Schiavon, programming and marketing manager at Gloucester Guildhall, said he was inspired to organise the event after realising the opportunity to host exciting new bands was often being missed.
He explained the 400-capacity venue was often too big to host new, unsigned acts, but by the time they had soared to fame the Guildhall became too small, as the bands would move on to larger, stadium and arena venues.
“This is our way of getting around that,” Schiavon said. “We can get them all in one go. It’s a chance for people to see the next crop of music talent.”
Schiavon and his 40-strong team hope up to 650 people will attend the event on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We were close to selling out last year,” he said. “It’ll be a smashing event”.
Schiavon expressed his excitement at hosting the Thomas Nicholas Band, who are due to perform on the BBC introducing stage on Sunday at 3pm. “Hopefully it will bring some extra people in,” he added.
Nicholas has been playing and recording music for 16 years and touring for the past five years. The American Pie star told This is Gloucestershire the band was formed in February this year in conjunction with the release of their latest self-titled EP.
“We're beyond excited to play the Underground Festival on Sunday,” said Nicholas. “The line-up for both days is incredible and it's cool to be included in that on our first UK tour.”
The other band members, Nicholas explained, have been “cherry picked from other groups”. They are Matt Kennedy (the Graduate) Dylan Halacy (Bleu) and Clint Fowler (Automatic Love Letter).
“These guys believe in the music as much as I do,” he said. “This is the band I've always wanted.”
On the band’s website Nicholas describes his music: “I think of it as John Mayer writing the melody, Bruce Springsteen singing and the Foo Fighters backing it all up.
“The new material definitely feels that way. It’s a little heavier, but it still has that pop influence.”
The band hopes to return to tour the UK again in March 2013.
Asked about other highlights of this year’s Underground Festival, Guildhall programming and marketing manager Mr Schiavon listed Bastille, who will headline the DIY Stage on Saturday, and Temples, who will play the Risky 8 stage the same day.
Reflecting on the success of the festival, which was established in 2010, Mr Schiavon said: “There’s a glass ceiling because it’s an indoor event, but we hope it will become a staple in the festival calendar.”
To find out more about Underground Festival, visit www.undergroundfestival.co.uk.