T’Pau row: Fans’ rage as refunds refused for Sunderland gig

The Carriages at The Pullman.
The Carriages at The Pullman.
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MUSIC fans have been left out of pocket after a chart-topping band cancelled their gig at a Sunderland venue.

T’Pau, whose hits include China in Your Hand, had been due to play The Pullman in Seaburn on April 12, as part of their Pleasure and Pain tour.

The gig, which had been re-scheduled from last year, was cancelled after lead singer Carol Decker suffered damage to her vocal chords.

The show was set to help re-establish the venue, whose previous operators Rosalind Leisure went into liquidation in December.

However, because the hotel, restaurant and function room is now run by a new company, some fans are not being given refunds.

Lee Gale, from Newcastle, spent £80 on four tickets for the gig last September.

Carol Decker

Carol Decker

He says he’s disappointed that he’s been refused a refund.

“Other venues on the tour have given refunds, but I’ve been told that I can’t have one because The Pullman is being opened by a new company,” he said.

“If you buy tickets from any venue and a show is cancelled, that venue should honour a refund. It’s not the fans’ fault that the show’s been cancelled.”

Sun FM Breakfast Show host Simon Grundy is another fan who’s lost money after buying two tickets at £20 each.

If you buy tickets from any venue and a show is cancelled, that venue should honour a refund. It’s not the fans’ fault that the show’s been cancelled.

“I bought tickets back in autumn as I used to love Carol Decker and was over the moon when I heard she was coming to Sunderland,” he said.

“I was devastated to hear she wouldn’t be coming, and even more so to find out I wouldn’t be getting a refund.”

Carol Decker herself has made it clear that the onus of responsibility for refunds lies with the venue.

She tweeted: “My fans are out of pocket due to this venue changing hands, not due to me being ill.”

In an official statement on the band’s website, the singer added: “I have sustained damage to my vocal chords due to singing when I was suffering bronchitis. On the advice of my vocal coach and E.N.T. specialist I have been advised to rest my voice and not to continue touring.

“So sorry to let the fans and the band down, who were so looking forward to playing the shows.”

On Saturday, the Echo reported that The Pullman was re-opening three months after closure under new operators Signal Box Hotel Limited – which has been opened by two of the three directors from Rosalind Leisure.

However, because ticket money was paid to a now-liquidated company, they say they are unable to legally refund it with funds from a new company.

They are advising people to contact insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor, who can advise on potential refunds administered via credit card companies and Pay Pal.

A statement reads: “We are sorry to have to inform you that your tickets were purchased from the previous company who operated The Pullman venue, and who have since gone into liquidation.

“We took over the premises in early January and are only able to refund tickets which we have sold in 2015 through our online ticket system.

“We were honouring any tickets previously bought for free in an attempt to make the change in ownership as seamless as possible, but in terms of a refund, we are unable to refund any ticket for which this company haven’t been paid.”