Festive Mackem magic...

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THIS weekend’s festive bonanza at North Shore looks set to be a Christmas cracker.

As part of its drive to provide top-class music throughout the year, Split Festival organisers are hosting a Christmas show with some of the summer festival favourites.

Mackem music maestros The Futureheads, B>E>A>K and Hyde & Beast will take to the stage at North Shore, formerly Manor Quay, on Saturday night.

Ross Millard, from The Futureheads, said: “We haven’t played a hometown show for quite a while, but to make it even more special we asked the fans on our Twitter and Facebook pages to tell us what songs they’d like to hear at the show.

“We have a fairly large back-catalogue now, four albums – so it’s good for us to dig out a few songs that we haven’t played in a long time.

“We’ve got a lot of Sunderland talent under one roof at North Shore with this gig, so I think it’s all set to be a great Saturday night in Sunderland.”

The night will also feature a DJ set from Frankie & the Heartstrings.

Split festival organiser Martyn McFadden, said: “We’re all really looking forward to Saturday. It’s going to be a proper Mackem Christmas night out.

“All the bands playing are all Sunderland bands, but all are doing well at the moment. The last time I saw B>E>A>K they had the whole place dancing and are the ultimate party band.

“Hyde & Beast have just returned from their first UK tour and are really progressing well, and The Futureheads have been flying the flag for Sunderland around the world for more than a decade now.”

Following on from the success of this summer’s Split Festival, which took place at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, organisers have begun to programme a series of musical and culinary events which will take place throughout the year, in different venues across the city.

On Saturday, Masterchef finalist Stacie Stewart from Whitburn will be cooking up a storm in the kitchen and it’s hoped organisers will be able to stage a dedicated food festival next year.

Tickets are only £12.50 in advance or £15 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available from: Hot Rats on Stockton Road, HMV and A Love Supreme in Sheepfolds. For more details visit www.splitfestival.com.

l For a review of the gig see next week’s Guide.