SUNDERLAND was well and truly alive with the sound of music when the city celebrated its wealth of talent.
Ahead of this weekend’s Split Festival, a jam-packed bill of events helped kick off a celebration of the city’s music scene.
The Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens hosted Split Transmission at the weekend – a series of performances by four bands hand-picked by the panel of judges from almost 150 entrants.
The Railway Club, Mausi, Natasha Haws and Comets all entertained the excited crowd, which included BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, who is famous for unearthing fresh talent.
The event was rounded off with a performance from Athletes in Paris and Wearside’s own The Lake Poets.
In the evening, the musical mayhem moved to Cosa Nostra for an intimate event that included an acoustic performance from Tom Robinson and a set from Cattle and Cane.
The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde had to scrap a scheduled folk set at the venue as he was ill.
Eccentric Wearside band B>E>A>K> then flew in andcomplete with their signature bird masks, led a colourful musical procession from the Borough Road restaurant to the evening’s next stop-off Plugged Inn, where bands Young Liar, Holy Mammoth and Ashes of Iron performed to a packed bar.
Independent was the focus of the next and final destination, where Mammal Club and Let’s Buy Happiness showcased their sounds in the Little Room while Warm Digits and Razmataz Lorry Excitement worked their magic in the main room.
One of the organisers, Kenny Sanger, of The Bunker, said: “It was an amazing day and we were all blown away by both events.
“There were so many highlights and it was great to see so many people at the gigs as well as so many bands, promoters and punters all coming together to celebrate what Sunderland has to offer.
“What a great warm up to the main event, Split Festival, this weekend.”
Joe Frankland, of North East music development agency Generator, added: “Saturday’s Split Transmission and Split Parade events will go down in Sunderland music folklore and are hopefully we’ll see the events grow year on year as a perfect way to kick off Split Festival.
“The quality of all artists blew us all away, with the North East’s best young and new bands featuring alongside the best-loved bands in the region, and even a very special set from Tom Robinson, who was the perfect panelist and loved seeing all the artists.
“My particular highlight was joining a parade lead by B>E>A>K> from Cosa Nostra to Plugged Inn.
“It was great to see so many enthusiastic music fans from across the North East coming together for a great party Sunderland style.”
The events were put on by Sunderland City Council, Generator, The Bunker and Split Festival.
Split Festival takes place this weekend at Ashbrooke Sports Club.
Day tickets are £25 and weekend tickets are £40 from www.splitfestival.com.