From an Abba tribute to The Futureheads - Sunderland's Fire Station programme packed with Christmas crackers
Audiences can enjoy some real Christmas crackers at The Fire Station.
The programme includes choral singing, world-class orchestral music, soul, indie, brass, jazz, folk, funk and rock - all with a Christmas theme.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy some fantastic party nights out, bringing the music of George Michael, Abba and various 80s acts to the venue.
As well as a stellar music programme, there is comedy from legendary American comedian Rich Hall and an evening of burlesque to tickle your fancy.
The festive fun starts on Thursday, December 1, when Fire Station regulars Royal Northern Sinfonia celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a classical Christmas by Candlelight programme.
Principal conductor Dinis Sousa will lead the orchestra for some sublime spiritual music from Bach, Purcell and Pärt.
The following evening, Friday, December 2, will see a complete change of pace, as the venue hosts a special Sunderland party kicking off several events to celebrate The Fire Station’s first birthday. Brilliant home-grown acts including The Futureheads and The Lake Poets will feature alongside new and emerging Wearside talent.
Venue director Tamsin Austin promised the event would be a special one.
She said: “This particular gig will celebrate ten years of the Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust. The charity is behind much of the remarkable transformation of the cultural quarter in Sunderland city centre, including The Fire Station. Compered by Look North’s Jeff Brown, this evening will celebrate the development of the city’s music scene over the last decade.
“Curated by The Futureheads and The Lake Poets, it will also showcase local emerging talent.”
A busy weekend at The Fire Station continues the following evening, Saturday, December 3, when 100% Soul returns to the venue with a festive special. There’ll be all the timeless soul and Motown classics you know and love, cherry picked and performed blisteringly by the outstanding Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir, its full band and brass section, alongside DJ support from Tommy Caulker (WHQ Club).
To round off the weekend, Voices of Hope bring their A Choral Christmas show on Sunday, December 4. Voices of Hope is the award-winning chamber choir from Newcastle, winners of the highly-popular TV competition National Choir of the Year in 2016 and will perform an evening of festive classics from O Holy Night to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as well as an array of beautiful choral arrangements for Christmastime by composers including John Rutter and Bob Chilcott.
Glaswegian rockers GUN will be at The Fire Station on Tuesday, December 6, as part of a tour promoting their new Calton Songs.
Mirth and not music will fill the venue the following evening when top American comedian Rich Hall brings his Shot from Cannons show to Wearside. Fresh on the heels of his critically acclaimed memoirs, Nailing It, Montana’s transatlantic messenger will have plenty of new rants and knife-edge observations.
The following weekend will feature an eclectic mix of superb music – vocal harmony group The Overtones will bring their intimate show to the venue on Friday, December 9, followed by Americana favourites The Wandering Hearts on Saturday, December 10.
Big Girls Don’t Cry show will bring the iconic sounds of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Wearside on Sunday, December 11, to cap off a brilliant weekend of music.
Fastlove, a tribute act to the late, great George Michael will wow audiences on Tuesday, December 13, before a very special guest arrives the following night - Irish folk superstar Cara Dillon brings her legendary Upon a Winter’s Night show to The Fire Station.
Then on Thursday, December 15, something very different. An Evening of Burlesque will blend stylish cabaret, comedy, music, circus and burlesque to light up all your senses. Expect glitz, glamour, fun, feathers, fans, fabulous costumes and specialty artistes, cabaret and circus stars, comedians, Guinness World Record holders and champagne showgirls!
And from brass cheek to brass bands – the award-winning Reg Vardy Brass Band will pack The Fire Station stage on Friday, December 16, for a special Christmas Brass Show. Based in County Durham, the Reg Vardy Band has cemented their reputation winning prizes at national and international championships to become one of the most successful brass bands in history.
On Saturday, December 17, The Fire Station has invited much loved local lasses The Cornshed Sisters to curate a special Christmas cracker. bringing their unique blend of pop, folk, ballad and indie ballads. The popular band will perform plenty of carols and some much-loved Christmas pop hits.
The Magic of Motown show is on Sunday, December 18, and the following evening Paul Edis brings his brilliant A Jazzy Christmas show to the venue – performing fantastic renditions of Christmas classics in a big-band jazz style.
BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show returns on Tuesday, December 20 with a specially-recorded event featuring new music acts, including the renowned Ligeti Quartet and the cutting edge Distractfold Ensemble.
In the run-up to Christmas, the partying moves up a gear with another chance to see An Evening of Burlesque on Wednesday, December 21; the Thank You for the Music Abba tribute show on Thursday, December 22, and then an 80s Live show the following evening gives you another chance to let your hair down and dance!
And last, but certainly not least, is The Fire Station’s Good Times New Year’s Eve Party, giving you the opportunity to ring in 2023 on Saturday, December 31, in the company of Phil David’s Good Time Band playing the best of soul/Motown, R&B and rock n’ roll, plus DJ sets to fill the dancefloor.
“This December will be our busiest ever month, and we’re proud of the variety and quality of acts and shows booked. The Fire Station is for everyone, whatever your tastes and we’d absolutely love to see you over Christmas,” Tamsin added.
Visit www.thefirestation.org.uk for tickets and more information on the shows.