Star’s tweet treat for fan’s birthday
Couple stunned as singer steps in to save celebration
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