FRANKIE & The Heartstrings will fly the flag for Sunderland’s creativity by transforming a derelict space into a pop-up shop.
The five-piece, on the cusp of releasing their second album, will take over the former Tourist Information Office in Fawcett Street to set up a hub of creativity.
The shop, which will run for at least a fortnight, will host live performances from local and international acts, sell music and artwork, while also being an exhibition space for artists.
The band are in talks with a number of nationally-known acts they have worked with in the past, including Kaiser Chiefs, The Cribs and musician and producer Bernard Butler, from Suede, to appear on the bill of daily music performances.
“At a time when artists and bands are struggling to find space to exhibit their work and when shops are closing down we thought we’d use the space as a creative hub to celebrate Sunderland and show what it can do,” lead singer Frankie Francis told the Echo.
“We will have matinee shows each day and we’re talking to some really noteworthy bands about performing.”
Local acts including The Futureheads, Field Music and emerging acts such as The Lake Poets and Lilliput are also being lined up to perform at the outlet, which opens from June 1.
Frankie & The Heartstrings will showcase new music from their second album, The Days Run Away, on June 3, the same day as the record’s release.
It follows on from debut album Hunger which charted at number 32.
“There’s an ethic of Sunderland bands which is to get up off your bum and do things yourselves, which is what we’re doing,” said Frankie, from Houghton.
As well as selling music by established bands and singers, local acts are invited to sell their music from the outlet.
Artists can also use the space to sell and display their artworks.
Frankie, who will also perform with the band at Sunderland Minster on May 25, said: “One of the reasons we charted last time is because the people of Sunderland were so supportive and went out there and bought the record.
“We’ll be selling the record at the shop and signing copies for people.
“This pop up shop is like a call of arms to the people of Sunderland to support us and other creativity in the city.”