CATATONIA’S WAGE RAGE

The Welsh rockers headline the 'Campaign For A Living Wage' gig in Manchester...

CATATONIA are making their live comeback at a gig on April 28 at MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS ARENA to highlight UNISON’s ‘CAMPAIGN FOR A LIVING WAGE’, which aims to raise the UK minimum wage to £5 an hour, NME.COM can announce.

Joint headliners at the gig, which has been organised by Unison along with Reading Festival promoters Mean Fiddler, are Toploader, with support coming from Idlewild, Wheatus and Dum Dums.

The union, the largest in the UK, has already won its bid to persuade New Labour to establish a national minimum wage of £3.70 an hour for over 22s and £3.20 for 18-21-year-olds, with no minimum set for under 18s. However, now it wants to rates raised to £5 an hour for all workers in the country regardless of age.

Bands who played the 1999 Unison gig in Newcastle were Ash, Travis, Space, Divine Comedy and Fungus.

It will be Catatonia’s first gig since their charity NetAid gig in October 1999, and they’ll be taking the opportunity to debut new tracks from their forthcoming album ‘It’s What’s Not There That Makes What’s There What It Is’, due out later this year.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM from the London studio, where the band are putting the finishing touches to the forthcoming release, Catatonia lead singer Cerys Matthews said: “It’s a cause I think’s really important and it just seemed to be the right time for us to come back – it’s a long, long time since we played live. It should be really great. We’re really looking forward to what they (the new songs) are going to sound like live. It’ll be good to get back on the old live circuit again.”

Tickets are #10 in advance and will go on sale at 10am February 24.

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Cerys has also been speaking about the new album, describing it as “darker” and “more mature” than its predecessors. She said that a lot of the songs have been written by Mark Roberts, guitarist and co-writer, and said: “Lyrically, they are pretty astonishing.” New songs include ‘Long Time Lonely’, ‘Misogyny’, ‘Village Idiots’ and ‘Stone By Stone’.

For the full story and more on both the album and the gig, see this week’s issue of NME, on sale in London today (February 20) and the rest of the UK tomorrow.