Musician has boots made for walking

Musician Tom Yates
Musician Tom Yates

Wiganers are being offered an alternative look at the town as a musician is putting his walking shoes on to help fund his band’s new album.

Tom Yates, who performs under the stage name TE Yates, is putting on an exclusive walking tour of some of Wigan’s best-known landmarks as part of a crowd-funding campaign.

The Standish musician will take 10 people on a two-hour tour of the town centre, visiting areas including Mesnes Park, Wigan Pier and Mab’s Cross.

Folk-rocker Tom will explain some of the borough’s history and also delve into the lesser known and quirkier elements of Wigan’s past, with anyone going on the walk getting a copy of the album when it is recorded and their name put in the liner notes.

Tom, 28, said: “The idea of the walking tour was actually something my drummer suggested.

“He knows I’m interested in local history and some of the songs I write are about historical events.

“I think people who see me perform also warm to my delivery and my storytelling between songs, which I do in my own idiosyncratic way.

“I’m hoping this tour of Wigan will be an extension of my stage persona.

“I’ve yet to finalise the route but I will stop off at all the major landmarks and historical sites and if I can find any unexpected or unusual places I will go there too.

“I’m also going to go to the Grand Arcade as that’s where the Ritz Cinema and Wigan Casino were, and we will end up in the town centre so it’s handy for the bus and train stations.”

The walking tour, which will cost £20, will take place on Saturday June 4, although Tom says he will consider hosting another if the first one sells out quickly.

Walking tours have become a popular alternative attraction in major cities across Europe and Tom says he will also bring his experiences of going on them to the borough.

The tour will help to finance Silver Coins and White Feathers, the first full-length album being recorded by Tom and his seven-piece band. The walk around Wigan is one of a number of experiences or merchandise items fans of Tom’s music can select in order to help finance the album through popular crowd-funding website Indiegogo.

The campaign to raise £7,000 closes on April 22. To book a place, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/t-e-yates-album-silver-coins-and-white-feathers#/