Pop Recs to pop back up in Sunderland city centre

Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.
Frankie and the Heartstrings at Pop Recs in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.
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Pop Recs Ltd is returning to the city centre.

Last weekend the influential record store held its final gig, Pulled Apart By Horses, at its original home in Fawcett Street after the building was sold by the council to developers who will make it into student accommodation.

It’s been keeping us going seeing how much enthusiasm people have for Pop Recs. It’s very heart-warming.

Michael McKnight

Now, Frankie & the Heartstrings, the band who founded the store, have announced they will return with a pop-up version.

From next Friday, the band will take over the room above Scout Vintage in Olive Street for a fortnight.

The pop-up version of Pop Recs Ltd will promote the band’s new album, Decency, while also maintaining a Pop Recs presence in the city centre as the band scours the area for new permanent premises.

Established in June 2013, Pop Recs Ltd spiralled into an important cultural hub which staged gigs by big names, such as James Bay, The Vaccines and Franz Ferdinand, while also being a gathering place for local arts groups.

Michael McKnight, from the Heartstrings, said: “Though the original Pop Recs was a pop-up and ended up staying, this really will be a pop-up. It was a shame that the shop had to close around the same time as our album release, but this will give people the chance to come in and buy the album from us personally, while also keeping the momentum of Pop Recs going, so people don’t forget us.

“People can expect a compact version of Pop Recs.”

Michael says the band has been touched by the swell of support for their cultural venture.

“Since the closure of the original Pop Recs was announced we’ve had support from people like James Bay and Tim Burgess (The Charlatans frontman), as well as being approached by national newspapers,” he said.

The Sunderland-born guitarist added: “It’s had a big impact, I guess sometimes people don’t realise what they’ve got until it’s gone. It’s been keeping us going seeing how much enthusiasm people have for Pop Recs. It’s very heart-warming.

“And it’s definitely not the end, we are looking at other permanent premises.”

As well as selling records and independent coffee, the band will be performing in store on the morning of July 11 ahead of playing at Sunniside Live festival, in the city’s Sunniside Gardens, later in the day.

Decency is the third album to be released by Frankie & the Heartstrings and the first featuring the new line-up, which now includes Ross

Millard, formerly of The Futureheads, who has replaced Mick Ross, and Michael Matthews, formerly of This Ain’t Vegas, who’s replaced Steven Dennis on bass.

Though the album was recorded in Leeds, much of the writing and practicing took place in the Fawcett Street store, with the first single Think Yourself Lucky released last month.

• Decency is released on July 10.

• Pop up Pop Recs Ltd will run above Scout Vintage in Olive Street from July 10-25.