GIG ANNOUNCEMENT: The Charlatans to play Sunderland shop

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INDIE rockers The Charlatans are returning to Sunderland to perform in a city centre shop, the Echo can reveal.

The band, whose anthems helped define the Britpop era in the 90s, will take to the stage at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street for an intimate gig later this month.

Charismatic frontman Tim Burgess has long been an admirer of the record store, which started life as pop up shop in a derelict office and went on to become a hub of culture which has brought big name acts to perform in the heart of Sunderland.

He performed to a packed shop last year with his solo set and says he’s looking forward to returning with the band whose hits include The Only One I Know, One to Another and North Country Boy.

Tim said: “I love record shops and I love spending time in them. I think it was Edwyn Collins that first told me about Pop Recs. I got in touch with them and I played there when I was doing a solo tour.”

The gig, which is expected to sell out, is the latest coup for shop founders Frankie & the Heartstrings who’ve managed to convince major artists including Franz Ferdinand, Edwyn Collins and Badly Drawn Boy to come and play their home town.

Tim, who last performed with the band in Sunderland when they headlined 2011’s Split Festival, added: “I got to know the lads - we both do our coffee so there’s a healthy rivalry too - they came down and played at Tim Peaks, our venue at Kendal Calling and they even brought Pop Recs with them.

“Frankie sang backing vocals for a session I did with 6Music in Manchester and we’ve always said that it’d be great to do a Charlatans gig and things worked. We’re really looking forward to it. It’s a great thing they’ve got there and if we can help shine a spotlight on it then we’ll gladly do that. Also Dave mentioned he makes a really good North African sweet potato stew so that was pretty much the deal breaker.”

The Charlatans will perform at Pop Recs at 7pm on Saturday, February 21, with tickets going on sale on February 15.

Speaking to the Echo, Dave Harper, drummer with the Heartstrings, said: “Tim performed here last year and he definitely has an affinity with what we do. Of everyone we’ve worked with, Tim is probably the most active advocate for the shop. He offers his support without us having to ask.

“He genuinely sees something decent and worthwhile in what we do.”

The gig announcement comes on the back of the release of The Charlatans latest album, their 12th studio album to date, Modern Nature.

•Tickets for The Charlatans at Pop Recs will go on sale at 2pm on Sunday, February 15 and will be strictly limited to one per person priced at £5. Limited tickets are available at £2.50 for people in receipt of unemployment benefit and a very limited amount will be available online via www.seetickets.com.