HEAD for the Hills has returned for three days of great music and good times in the heart of Ramsbottom.

We caught up with Friday headliners, Manchester indie-rock titans The Slow Reader Club, ahead of what is sure to be one of the highlights of this year's festival.

No strangers to the Ramsbottom Cricket Club venue the lads have played the hallowed turf twice in recent years, and this year they can't wait to be back and tackle the top step as main stage headliners.

Vocalist Aaron Starkie said: "It feels great to be back. It’s a top festival and its been great to us.

"One of the first festivals we ever played was this one in 2015 and we had a good response here. Then we played again here last year headlining one of the tents, and now we’ve jumped up to the mainstage."

Formed in Manchester in 2009, out of the ashes of their former outfit Omerta, The Slow Readers Club have enjoyed a meteoric rise to become on the best loved and acclaimed artisits in the Manchester and UK scene.

The band regularly headline gigs around the UK and Europe, but admit there's something special about playing festivals like Head for the Hills.

Guitarist Kurtis Starkie said: "Head for the Hills has a real family environment and you get to play to fans who might never have heard you before, and you can pick up new fans too.

"Just looking out there, you can see people who have heard us and they’re bring their mates; which sometimes can be a hard sell. But if you say “come to this festival” because this band’s playing plus there might be other bands that they want to see anyway, it helps you out a lot more."

Aaron agreed adding: "There’s a bit more of a family atmosphere here and it’s a bit more local.

"We played Kendall calling earlier this year and there’s a similar vibe, but its slightly smaller and more convenient to get to.

"The guys here do a lot more to get up and coming bands. Bigger festivals can be harder for bands just starting out to get on to, so that’s a really positive thing that Head for the Hills do."

"And at least it means you can sleep in your own bed at night," laughed bassist James Ryan.

No doubt set to get draw one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, The Slow Readers Club were, however, a very late addition to the bill - being called in to take the Friday top spot after The Beat had to pull out.

James said: "The invitation to headline was just as last minute as it seemed to you. We were asked a week before they announced that we were playing.

Aaron added: "We had talked about playing here earlier in the year but because we had a big show at the Manchester Apollo booked we wanted the focus to be on that. But the Apollo has nearly sold out now so we were able to say yes."

The band are now three albums into their career with their latest LP, Build a Tower, dropping in May.  

So with no shortage of crowd pleasers the outfit confirmed their set was going to be filled with big hits to keep fans moving all night.

Aaron said: “We’ve got an hour and ten minutes, and we’ve released three albums so we’ll be playing songs from every one of them.

"And I guess most of the songs people will have heard on tour, plus one or two that they might not have heard for a while. Hopefully it's enough to keep people moving.

Drummer David Whitworth added: “It’s more of a festival setlist, a bit more high energy, which is what you need to keep people’s attention and keep people warm.

James said: “We do approach it a bit differently from when we’re playing our own gigs, because when you’re playing to you fans they might want you to play something a bit more obscure from the catalogue.

"But at a festival you tend to play the big ones, because there are going to be new fans out there, and if its dark and it starts pissing it down you don’t want to start playing slow songs."