Frankie & the Heartstrings open pop-up Pop Recs for July

Frankie and the Heartstrings.
Frankie and the Heartstrings.
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Music lovers are urged to head to Olive Street this fortnight as it hosts a special pop-up shop.

From today until July 25, Frankie & the Heartstrings have taken over the unit above Scout Vintage for a pop-up version of Pop Recs Ltd.

The record store, gig space, gallery and coffee shop had to move from its original premises in Fawcett Street after the owners, Sunderland City Council, sold the building to developers who will make it into student accommodation.

The band, who brought musicians such as James Bay, The Vaccines and Franz Ferdinand, to play in their home town are busy looking for permanent premises in the city centre for Pop Recs.

In the meantime, the pop-up version coincides with the release of the band’s third album, Decency, which is available from today.

As well as selling records and independent coffee, the band will be performing in store tomorrow morning ahead of playing at Sunniside Live festival, in the city’s Sunniside Gardens, later in the day.

Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

Lead singer Frankie Francis said: “I know it’s a cliché, but I think it’s the best record we’ve ever made, but I think when people hear it they will agree.”

The council’s decision to sell the building formerly occupied by Pop Recs hit headlines regional and further afield.

Speaking about the sale of the building, which, apart from the ground floor, was derelict, Coun Mel Speding, Cabinet Secretary, Sunderland City Council said: “The City Council’s former offices at Cassaton House have been the home of Pop Recs on a short-term agreement since 2013.

“It was always understood how the council had to look to a long-term use for the property and that has now been secured with its development into student accommodation.

“This is in line with council objectives to see more people living and working in the city centre and, in the interests of council tax payers in these financially challenging times for local authorities, it secures a capital receipt.

“Naturally, with the success and popularity of Pop Recs, the council and others have been looking at ways and means of continuing and securing a similar venture elsewhere in the city centre.”