Punk legends The Stranglers heading for Sunderland festival

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PUNK legends The Stranglers are headlining a festival which will put another feather in the cap of Sunderland’s burgeoning music scene.

The band – whose hits include Golden Brown and No More Heroes – will take to the stage at Rainton Meadows Arena on June 11, for the Skinny Twins Festival.

SPLIT FESTIVAL: The Detroit Social Club.

SPLIT FESTIVAL: The Detroit Social Club.

Organised by promoter Adam Smith, the day-long event is aimed at boosting the range of live music available on Wearside.

Adam, who is also part of the team organising Ashbrooke’s Split Festival, said: “The Skinny Twins Festival is not designed to compete with the Split Festival, but to complement what it does in bringing live music to Sunderland.

“If we can get national bands to come to Sunderland it will really help to put the city on the map.

“It’s about changing the mindset and getting Sunderland on the touring circuit, so that bands come here frequently.”

In a career that has spanned five decades, The Stranglers have notched up 23 Top 40 singles and 17 UK albums.

At their helm is Sunderland-born singer Baz Warne, who joined the band 10 years ago.

He said: “It’s always lovely when you get a chance to play near home. You can catch up with your mates and family and sleep in your own bed afterwards.

“I’m really looking forward to playing at Rainton very much as it happens. I love playing in the North East.”

Adam added: “It’s great to have Baz at the festival because he’s a local lad, but The Stranglers are also a big name.

“Skinny Twins’ aim is to get as many people in Sunderland watching live music as possible.”

The festival, which runs from midday to 1am, will also feature Neville Staple of The Specials, The Rifles, The Sunshine Underground, Twisted Wheel, The Beat, Boxer Rebellion, and Detroit Social Club – fronted by SAFC fan David Burn (pictured), from Chester-le-Street.

Local up-and-coming talent The Blitz, The Generals and The Storytellers will also join the line-up.

The festival takes place in the fortnight between Take That and Kings of Leon’s Sunderland gigs.

Adam said: “What the Stadium of Light are doing with the Take That and Kings of Leon gigs are great, but a venue that size can be off-putting for smaller bands.

“We want to create something for mid-range bands too. It’s a good stepping stone for local bands from playing local pubs to festivals.”

Tickets for the festival are £35. They are available from www.skinnytwins.co.uk, and from Hot Rats on Stockton Road.