Fans welcome home Keane duo

15/11/13- Keane playing an informal gig at 'Music's Not Dead', Bexhill. SUS-150106-145629001
15/11/13- Keane playing an informal gig at 'Music's Not Dead', Bexhill. SUS-150106-145629001

It has been a long time coming, but the day Keane fans have been waiting for is finally here.

Founding band members Tom Chaplin and Tim Rice-Oxley will be performing together for the first time in two years tomorrow (Saturday).

Just a few hundred tickets were made available for the intimate Back to Battle gig at Battle Abbey, which were quickly snapped up by Keane fans.

Many of these were overseas fans who have travelled to Battle for a special international fan gathering taking place this weekend.

The gig is being held to raise funds for the Battle Festival, of which Tim is patron.

Speaking to the Battle Observer back in June, Tim promised the fans something special.

Of the gig, he said: “It’s going to be very intimate, very stripped back, which is not something we do that often.

“It could be the only time we play together this year.”

Fans worked themselves up into a frenzy when the news of the gig first broke back at the start of the summer.

And David Furness, the chairman of the Battle Festival, said the organisers of the festival share the fan’s excitement over this one-off gig.

Mr Furness said: “Levels of excitement have been rising steadily in Battle and internationally due to the Back to Battle concert on Saturday night.

“Fans from around the world have tweeted how they’ve thought of little else since securing their tickets to see Tim Rice-Oxley and Tom Chaplin reunited on stage.

“I must say, we share their excitement and are really looking forward to this event.

“We expect Battle to be inundated with visitors over this whole weekend and no doubt many of them will follow the Keane Trail while they’re here.

“Back to Battle tickets were highly sought after, selling out in seconds online, and the concert has attracted fans from throughout the UK, Europe and beyond to Australia, Taiwan and South America.

“A later auction for two pairs of tickets received generous bids with the winning bid at £726 and a second highest bid of £600.”

The winning bidder was Russell Wilson from Ringwood.

The second bid came from local fan Susan Bartram.

Back to Battle is a fundraiser for October’s Battle Festival, to help the organisers plan another world-class, month-long festival in town, and to ensure it can be sustained for the long term.

After a break of several years, the revamped festival returned to the town’s calendar in 2014, and was hailed as a resounding success.