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Leicester acts make it to Glastonbury


Two Leicester acts have joined the likes of The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons on the bill at Glastonbury.

Reggae band By The Rivers and pop artist Izzy Marie Hill have been chosen to play on the BBC Introducing stage on Saturday, June 29.

They are among a number of acts from across the country who were announced for the stage, which champions unsigned acts, on Radio 1 earlier this evening.

For By The Rivers, a six-piece who formed in 2010, it comes following several high-profile gigs, supporting the likes of Madness and The Specials.

Lead singer Nile Barrow, 23, said the band had always wanted to play at Glastonbury.

"It has always been one of our goals. It is the dream and we can finally tick it off the list," he said.

"It is a bit surreal at the moment but I'm sure the nerves will kick in on the day."

Drummer and backing singer Jordan Birtles, who co-founded the group with Nile, said the band could not be happier about being chosen to perform.

The 20-year-old said: "We always said that one day we were going to be there. It's going to be a big one. I can't wait."

The boys said they would probably have a pre-gig pint and a football kick-about – as they do before most performances – to calm their nerves.

They said they would make sure the Glastonbury crowd knew where they came from.

Jordan said: "We start off every gig by saying, 'Hi, we're By The Rivers from Leicester'.

"We're proud of where we come from. It's where the people are who love us most and who made us confident in ourselves."

Nile and Jordan are following in the footsteps of their dads, John Barrow and Gaz Birtles, who played together in The Swinging Laurels in the '80s.

Gaz, who also played in the brass section for The Beautiful South, said he was a proud dad.

"It is fantastic that they have achieved so much in such a short amount of time," he said.

"The pair of us can't believe that our lads have done it. It is great to see the Birtles–Barrow name back together again."

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Izzy Marie, who has been likened to a female Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson by Radio 1 DJs, said she was looking forward to the show.

"I'm not nervous yet but I reckon I will be next week," she said. "As long as somebody makes me laugh before I go on stage, I don't panic.

"I know I'm going to love it."

She and By The Rivers will perform some songs together before playing their own sets.

"I like performing solo and as part of a group," said Izzy Marie. "I've been in contact with the boys for a while now, they have been brilliant.

"It is so important to remember your roots because my friends and family have backed me from the start – especially my dad, uncle and cousin.

"Dad is definitely coming to support me at Glastonbury."

Leicester  acts make it to Glastonbury

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