Fight for Faye: The Futureheads and The Lake Poets to play special night of Sunderland music in support of musician fighting cancer

A special Night of Sunderland Music will mark the start of the first birthday celebrations forthe city’s newest arts venue – and the transformation of the city’s music scene over the last decade.

Two of Sunderland’s finest and most popular acts – The Futureheads and The Lake Poets – will headline the celebration at The Fire Station on Friday, December 2.

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Fight for Faye Fund, which is raising money for talented Sunderland singer songwriter Faye Fantarrow, 20, from East Herrington, to pay for treatment for her aggressive Glioma brain tumour.

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Faye has been accepted on to a trial to treat her cancer in California, USA, but the cost is £450,000, with £175,000 raised so far.

The Futureheads - Fire Station, Sunderland. Photo by Victoria Wai

BBC Look North’s Jeff Brown will host the evening, which will also feature up and coming city talent from the Northern Academy of Music Education and the Young Musicians Project.

Ross Millard, guitarist and vocalist for The Futureheads, said it will be a night to remember: “It will be a special night and we’re really excited to be involved. It’s hard to believe that The Fire Station has been open a year already – it’s now firmly on the radar of the gig-going public in the region and beyond.

“The programme has been so busy and varied and I think the venue has done exactly what it set out to do – provide a first rate platform for local, regional and national musical talent here in Sunderland.

“It’s a fantastic venue with great acoustics. It was clearly designed for music to be played in it and it’s also a lovely space, full of character and not just a big black box like some other venues. There’s a slightly reverential air to it, which I Iove.

Proceeds will go towards the Fight for Faye fund

“We’ll be playing our biggest hits from our back catalogue, bringing out the big guns to start the celebrations for The Fire Station’s first birthday.”

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The first concert for the venue was on December 10 last year, when the first performers were The Lake Poets and Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening followed by an official opening night on December 17 when the Futureheads were a big part of the venue’s opening season, Firestarters.

Venue Director Tamsin Austin said: “We’ve come a long way in a year and there have been so many highlights over the last 12 months. The Fire Station is a central part of what has been a remarkable transformation of the city’s music scene over the last ten years.

“Other superb venues such as Pop Recs and The Peacock have emerged alongside our traditional venues like the Empire and Independent, while fantastic music festivals such as Summer Streets and Kubix have become established.

Futureheads will perform on December 2
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“But it’s not just about quality places to enjoy music, the city has also produced and nurtured a new generation of genuinely-talented young performers, some of whom will be on stage on December 2 – the perfect way to start our first birthday celebrations. It’s been a great first year for The Fire Station, an amazing decade for the music scene in the city, but what lies ahead is even more exciting.”

If you would like to contribute to the Fight for Faye fund, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/abigail-thompson-2

A Night of Sunderland Music is part of a packed Christmas schedule at the Fire Station, with shows on virtually every night of December.

Other highlights include A Choral Christmas with Voices of Hope (Sunday, December 4); The Overtones (Friday, December 9); folk superstar Cara Dillon (Wednesday, December 14); Christmas Brass with the Reg Vardy Band (Friday, December 16) and a Merry Christmas with The Cornshed Sisters (Saturday, December 17).

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Tickets for A Night of Sunderland Music are £25 from www.thefirestation.org.uk