WEARSIDE rockers Frankie & The Heartstrings are “honoured” after picking up their first award.
The five-piece indie band collected the gong at the Association of Independent Music (AIM) Independent Music Awards for the most hardworking band.
The group, who run music store Pop Recs Ltd, Fawcett Street, picked up the award at the ceremony in East London.
Lead singer Frankie Francis said they are gobsmacked by the win.
“We aren’t the type of band that wins stuff,” he said.
“We are the type of band whose van breaks down on the A1.
“So when they called our name out, it was incredible – we couldn’t believe it.”
The band have previously missed out on award glory.
In 2011 they were nominated for The Digital Music Awards breakthrough artist of the year, but narrowly missed out to singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
“We are really proud of this,” said Frankie.
“Especially because afterwards one of the judges, Sean Adams who runs one of the biggest music websites in the world, Drowned In Sound, came up to us and said that during the voting process, it was unanimous that we won.”
The band, who released the newest single from their album – The Days Run Away – That Girl, That Scene, on August 26, also received praise from fellow musicians at the ceremony, which was presented by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, and Steve Lamacq, of BBC 6music.
Franz Ferdinand, led by Alex Kapranos who grew up in Sunderland, also performed and congratulated the Heartstrings.
“They said they would like to be involved in what we are doing somehow, and we look up to them a lot so that was great,” added Frankie.
“And we got to hang out with people like Vampire Weekend and The XX who won awards – to win alongside musical talent like that is fantastic.”
Mackem TV and radio presenter Lauren Laverne was also nominated for the indie champion award for her radio show on BBC 6music, though she missed out to fellow station broadcaster Gilles Peterson.
“It was a great, fun night,” said Frankie.
“Kind of like being at The Brits – a swanky affair.
“It was great to be in the company of real musical legends.”
The band, true to form, were returning to Wearside to work at Pop Recs Ltd yesterday.
Frankie, who represented the band at the ceremony with drummer Dave Harper, added: “We aren’t in this for the fame. We wanted to play music and open a good music venue and record shop in Sunderland where people could enjoy music.
“We’ve done that. It’s great and we are really proud of it.”
That Girl, That Scene is available to buy exclusively on record at Pop Recs Ltd, or at itunes.
The video can be viewed online, on You Tube.