The Chemical Brothers will find returning to the stage “emotional”.

The ‘Setting Sun’ hitmakers – comprising Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons – will headline Latitiude Festival later this month and wouldn’t be surprised if performing for a full-capacity crowd for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit reduces them to tears.

Tom said: “It will be emotional. I could still be blubbing by the encore.”

The duo were in final rehearsals for a number of global gigs last year when everything was abruptly cancelled.

Tom recalled: “The timing couldn’t have been worse.”

The 50-year-old musician is frustrated that sport has been able to largely go back to normal with crowds in attendance while the music scene has floundered.

He said: “To see fans back at football matches while festivals are forced to cancel for a second year is inexplicable to me. Why is one more important than the other? It’s the same shared experience that’s fundamental to us all.

“Clubland had already been hollowed out pre-pandemic. I don’t want to bang on about the good old days, but clubbing was how you found your tribe. It’s still vital to young lives, an experience you don’t get through a screen.

“What’s weird is that we have a generation of people in powerful positions who grew up seeing the seismic shift in arts and industry that came from club culture. They went to festivals. Some of them still do. But ask them to recognise either in a formal way, as they do in other countries, and there’s silence.”

The duo kept busy during lockdown by making new music, remotely at first, and Tom was emotional when he received some rare positive feedback from his daughter after paring a quirky sample from a rare single with another from a Soul Brothers Six song for new track ‘The Darkness That You Fear’.

He told Sunday Times Culture magazine: “It was a song from an American kids’ TV show called ‘The Bugaloos’, created by the guys behind ‘The Banana Splits’.

“I’d played it once before and dismissed it, but this time its strangeness spoke to me. The female vocal was arch and icy. It summed up how I was feeling.

“What’s great about samples is that they speak for you, articulate your emotions. The moment I heard this icy voice beside a raw male vocal, a huge wave of optimism hit me.“Then one of my kids came into the studio, which they never do. None of them has the slightest interest in our music. For the first time my daughter said, ‘Oh, that’s quite good, Dad.’ I could have cried.”