SOUTHAMPTON rockers The Novatones have promised their biggest show so far when they return to the Isle of Wight Festival this weekend.

Frontman Anthony Pitman, guitarist Mackenzie Gordon-Smith, bassist Toby Hornby-Patterson, his brother and drummer Joe and keyboard player Joel Doherty are making their fifth appearance, this time on The Hard Rock stage on Friday night.

Their date on the island means a clash with a former sporting rival as Anthony explained.

“Our stage times means we’re up against singer Tom Grennan in the Big Top tent.

“In September, Tom’s team beat us in the semi-final of the Soccer Six tournament in London, so this isn’t the first time we’ve been up against each other.

“Hopefully we’ll come off better this time,” the frontman laughed.

The band have fans from all over the country who say seeing them every year at the festival is a non-negotiable part of their weekend.

While the others in the group are veterans of Isle of Wight, this will be Joe’s first time there as the band’s new drummer.

However, he is no stranger to major events having appeared as a guitarist in a backing band for acts on the X Factor live shows.

Joe said, “As a drummer, it was strange to be asked to be play the guitar on television, but, luckily, it was only for show and the music came from a backing track.”

Fortunately, there is nothing phoney about the Novatones’ performances.

They’ve sold out The Joiners many times, toured the country and were the first band to play the Common People main stage in 2015. Later this month they will play their first festival in Norway.

Despite this success, the band say their recent experiences of how hard it is to break through to the big time have provided the inspiration for their next single Why Don’t You Listen to Me?

“Our new song is a reaction against the London music industry and how acts like us who work hard and pull in good crowds can still be overlooked while others, with the right connections and money, get pushed,” said Mackenzie.

“We used to think selling out gigs in our home town, playing festivals and touring would be enough to get radio air play, but we’ve learnt it doesn’t always work like that,” said Anthony.

Toby said, “The song wrote itself in about 15 minutes. It naturally evolved from a jam session with everyone involved, which is another reason why it’s special.”

The band promise a new national tour, including a Southampton date, to promote their new single when it is officially released in September.

The Novatones play The Hard Rock stage at Isle of Wight Festival on Friday June 22. Tickets at

Richard Derbyshire