‘Tis the season to be singing ...

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Nic Wright brings us her monthly music column from The Bunker studios in Stockton Road, Sunderland.

IT’S rolling frighteningly close to that time of year again.

Christmas decorations are popping up in city centres, wrapping paper is suddenly available everywhere you look and Santa Claus has even made some early appearances around the region.

Sunderland’s musical community is also gearing up for the festive season, with Christmas parties, gigs and even charity albums in the pipeline.

In a bid to raise money for Operation Christmas Child, the best of the North East’s bands and artists have recorded and donated songs to The Christmas Project, a compilation CD benefiting the UK charity.

Best known for its annual shoebox appeals, the organisation dedicates itself to aiding disadvantaged children around the world.

Artists attached to the project so far include Hollywood & Vines, Bird Island, The Union Choir, The Railway Club, Hungry Ghosts, Natasha Haws, Gallery Circus, Silver Trembling Hands, Jen Stevens & The Hiccups, Maps are Fiction, The Lake Poets and Shift-Static.

The album will be launched on December 8 at Independent, Sunderland, where the CD will be available for just £5.

In live music news, the organisers of Split Festival will be putting on an evening of top music and Yuletide food at North Shore on December 10.

The line-up features not one, not two, but three of our best live bands: B>E>A>K, Hyde and Beast and the mighty Futureheads. Record-spinning will come courtesy of Frankie and The Heartstrings.

Here’s a selection of some of Sunderland’s great upcoming gigs over the festive season:

l Spark FM presents: Bird Island, Young Hegelians, Clint at The Ivy House, Thursday, December 1. The event is free.

l Com Truise and guests at The Little Room, Independent, Thursday, December 1.

l Hothouse: Charlotte Yanni, Colourist Project, Invoke and guests at Arts Centre Washington, Friday, December 2.