Albion fans have a treat in store at Saturday’s Fanzone opening thanks to Baggies devotee and rock musician Stu Hartland.
Stu, lead guitarist with Birmingham indie rockers The Twang and lifelong Albion fan, was only too happy to lend a hand when the Club approached him about the Fanzone’s grand opening.
“Love to,” said Stu – and visitors to the Hawthorns’ new pre-match gathering point can hear the results for themselves before the Barclays Premier League clash against Southampton.
Stu has persuaded another Midlands musical ace Dennis Seaton, one-time Musical Youth frontman and now a Grammy nominated British soul and R&B recording artist, to add his talents to Saturday’s live music line up.
“I always wanted to play at the Albion - but wearing the Baggie stripes of course,” says Stu. “But this is the next best thing.
“I roped in Dennis who has been responsible for getting all the logistics sorted such as the stage and sound. And boy, wait until you hear him sing – he’s something special and I’m honoured to be sharing a stage with him.
“Hopefully, I’ve got a couple of Albion-centric tunes that the fans will get and some that might surprise them.
“But we’re all really looking forward to the gig. It’s a great project by the Club and we hope we can play a part in getting it off to a great start.”
Stu, Dennis and pals will kick off the proceedings shortly after mid-day when fans will get their first chance to experience the renovated Hawthorns pub site which will have licensed drink and food outlets as well as plenty of family activities.
Saturday’s early kick-off Premier League clash between Everton and Chelsea will also be on view on a big screen before the band kick in with a second set after the opening ceremony.
That is due to go ahead at 1.30pm with our England keeper Ben Foster and broadcaster Adrian Chiles, another devoted Baggies follower, helping to cut the ribbon.
The Fanzone is open to supporters from both camps on production of a match ticket and is intended to produce a safe, vibrant and family-orientated setting to experience the pre-match atmosphere.