Summer Streets festival returns to Sunderland

Artistic Director Ross Millard leads last year's Summer Streets Music Festival parade towards Thompson Park
Artistic Director Ross Millard leads last year's Summer Streets Music Festival parade towards Thompson Park
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Scaffolding bars, angle grinders, brake discs, suspension springs and other random car parts will be making sweet music in Sunderland this weekend.

The 30-strong Junkyard Orchestra, made up of Year 8 and Year 9 pupils from Monkwearmouth Academy and South Shields Community School, will perform at the Summer Streets festival which is being held in Thompson Park, Southwick, tomorrow and Sunday.

Musicians in last year's Summer Streets Music Festival parade

Musicians in last year's Summer Streets Music Festival parade

The group is led by Rob Kitchen, Schools Programme Leader at the Sage, Gateshead, and Brendan Murphy, co-founder of Newcastle practice venue the Rumba Palace.

“They’ve been rehearsing for a few weeks and we’ve had great fun,” said Brendan.

“The junkyard orchestra is capable of playing anything you can play on a piano, and we’ll be playing a bit of New Orlean blues and a few jazz numbers too.

“Because of the nature of the instruments, the orchestra wears white overalls. We’ll be playing two sets of 20 minutes, and I’m sure the Summer Streets audience will love the sound – it’s sort of rustic, rusty and rolling.

What we’re doing is providing a great platform for local bands, groups and musicians, while at the same time exposing audiences to types and genres of music they may not have heard before.

Ross Millard

“We’re playing on the afternoon of Saturday, July 16, and I hope as many people as possible will come to hear is play – it’s something special.

“The orchestra will open people’s eyes – and ears – to new ways of creating music.”

Sunderland band Field Music are headlining Summer Streets tomorrow, while the Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) will be performing on Sunday, July 17.

Other bands on Saturday include Martha, the Cornshed Sisters, New York Brass Band, Hylton Ukes, The Heavenly Thrillbillies, Don’t Panic Steel Pan Band, Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, The Sons of Bido Lito and Immy Williams.

Youngsters will be entertained by a stand-up comedian, and there will also be workshops to try out belly dancing, beatboxing, playing the penny whistle and playing the spoons.

As well as the RNS, Sunday will feature Holy Moly and the Crackers, popular local band Denis, Northern Ukes and the world premiere of theatre show Putting the Band Back Together, which has been rehearsing in local communities for months.

Whitburn Singers, the Jubilate! singing group and a live comedy gunge show are also on the Sunday bill.

Summer Streets is being delivered on behalf of the Arts Council-funded Cultural Spring by Futureheads and Frankie and the Heartstrings star Ross Millard.

“What we’re doing is providing a great platform for local bands, groups and musicians, while at the same time exposing audiences to types and genres of music they may not have heard before,” said Ross.

“I’m delighted at the quality and variety of performers we have this year and it promises to be a very special weekend.”

The festival will start with a parade from Southwick Primary School to Thompson Park at noon, and will have a rolling roadblock behind it as it parades along the Green and on to Thompson Park Road.

There will be three stages and various smaller teepees in Thompson Park, and the musical programme on the Saturday will run from 1pm to 7pm, with Field Music being the last performers to appear.

The BBC’s Jeff Brown and Ray Spencer from the Customs House, South Shields, will be hosting the festival and introducing the entertainment.

Street food stalls will be on site on both days and Wylam Brewery will be serving refreshments.

Summer Streets running order:

Saturday.

Stage 1.

1pm-1.20pm Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band

1.40pm-2pm Junkyard Orchestra.

2.20pm-2.50pm New York Brass Band

3.40pm - 4.10pm Fletcher Jackson

5pm-5.30pm Sons of Bido Lito

6.30pm-7.30pm Field Music

Stage 2.

2pm-2.20pm Hylton Ukes

3.10pm-3.30pm Heavenly Thrillbillies

4.30pm-5pm Cornshed Sisters

5.50pm-6.20pm Marth

Stage 3.

1.20pm-1.40pm New Writing North Young Songwriters

2pm-2.20pm Sunderland Uni Performing Arts Summer School

2.50pm-3.10pm Ed Pickford

4.10pm-4.30pm Immy Williams

5.30pm-5.50pm Paul Liddell

Sunday.

Stage 2.

1.30pm-2.30pm Royal Northern Sinfonia

3pm-4.15pm Putting the Band Back Together

4.30pm-5pm Holy Moly and the Crackers.

Stage 3.

Noon-12.30pm Southwick Dancers

12.45pm-1.30pm Whitburn Singers

2.30pm-3pm Dennis