Star’s tweet treat for fan’s birth­day

Cou­ple stunned as singer steps in to save cel­e­bra­tion

Sunday Sun - - News - By Mike Kelly Re­porter [email protected]­me­

CHAR­LA­TANS lead singer Tim Burgess stepped in when a fan’s birth­day treat for his wife to see the top in­die band’s New­cas­tle gig was put at risk af­ter he lost his job.

Paul Reilly, 36, from Irvine, near Glas­gow, de­cided that with Christ­mas com­ing up and two young kids to pro­vide for he couldn’t af­ford the £250 cost of the jaunt, which in­cluded an overnight ho­tel stay.

He con­tacted Burgess on Twit­ter ask­ing him to retweet a re­quest to swap the New­cas­tle tick­ets for the band’s gig in Glas­gow the day be­fore.

In­stead, the singer tweeted him back say­ing: “We’ll sort out a ho­tel room in New­cas­tle for you ;) Plus two tick­ets on us for Glas­gow. Happy birth­day Mrs R!”

Paul said: “I was stunned. I was just hop­ing he’d retweet it. I’m still shak­ing about it now.”

The cou­ple have been Char­la­tans fans since their teens, ap­pro­pri­ately enough, Paul first got into them around the time of the 1995 al­bum “Tellin’ Sto­ries” – Paul said Elaina thought he was telling sto­ries when he told her about the of­fer.

He laughed: “Elaina thought I was mak­ing it up when I told her. I showed her his re­ply on my phone say­ing ‘look, Tim Burgess has con­tacted me’ and she was say­ing ‘shut up!’.”

Paul, a scaf­folder, said he bought the tick­ets months ago when they first went on sale as a 37th birth­day present for his wife.

They’d stayed last year in New­cas­tle for her 36th birth­day and loved it, so much so Paul de­cided to opt for the De­cem­ber 5 gig at the O2 Academy in New­cas­tle as op­posed to the one at the O2 Academy in Glas­gow the day be­fore.

“When I lost my scaf­fold­ing job I de­cided to call it all off be­cause money was tight.”

The cou­ple have two chil­dren – Ethan aged 12 and three-year-old Mi­lanna – and so Paul had an eye on Christ­mas as well.

When we con­tacted Tim Burgess he Tweets be­tween Paul and Tim Burgess told us: “I’ll al­ways do what I can to help and Paul was ac­tu­ally just ask­ing to swap the tick­ets.

“I was about to tweet ask­ing if any­one would – I thought it would be an un­likely thing to hap­pen, but then I re­alised that I could do more to help.

“So I said we’d sort them a ho­tel and Glas­gow tick­ets which means we were no longer look­ing for some­one who had tick­ets to our Glas­gow gig, but, for some rea­son were pre­fer­ring to go to New­cas­tle.”

Asked if he has any­thing else planned for the cou­ple, he said: “I’m DJ-ing in Glas­gow af­ter we play so they’d be wel­come along to that. I heard that Tom ‘Mouse’ Smith who is sup­port­ing us in New­cas­tle, might have some­thing planned as a sur­prise, which will now be slightly less of a sur­prise!”

As a re­sult of their good for­tune the cou­ple plan to make the 180-mile trip to New­cas­tle every year from now on to cel­e­brate Elaina’s birth­day.

“We love it there. We can’t wait for the gig now,” said Paul. Char­la­tans’ singer Tim burgess

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