CULTURE is the key to carving a new Sunderland, according to one of the city’s biggest bands.
The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde and Jaff were at the Stadium of Light to talk about supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the venue in June.
It’s set to be a highlight in a number of events taking place on Wearside this year, including three big-name concerts at the stadium, the Split Festival and events surrounding the Olympic torch’s visit to the city, which incorporates a giant food festival.
Lead singer Barry said: “2012 is going to be regarded as a superb year for Sunderland.
“With all the events that are happening, it’s the start of a new Sunderland, a Sunderland that thinks and acts like a city.
“If you don’t have world-class events then your expectations are low.
“I think Sunderland is the biggest, roughest diamond in the country.
“But once you get it polished, we will have a very special place again.
“By again, I mean we had two eras which were very important.
“One was during Venerable Bede’s time and the second era was during the Industrial Revolution.
“We will be an important city again, but not through industry – it will be through the creative arts, through music, arts and food events.”
The Sunderland four-piece, fresh from a tour promoting new acappella album Rant, will support American music giants Red Hot Chili Peppers on June 24.
They say they are proud to be involved in the concert at the club where players have run out on to the pitch to their track, The Beginning of the Twist.
Jaff said: “I’m really excited for this gig.
“I’m at the stadium nearly every other week anyway for the match, so it’s a massive honour for us to be asked.”
As a Mackem and a music fan, Jaff says he’s blown away that Bruce Springsteen will also be playing his home town this summer, on June 21.
Meanwhile, on June 7, Coldplay will kick off the trio of concerts taking place at the stadium in between football seasons.
l Tickets, which start from £45, for Red Hot Chili Peppers with support from The Futureheads, The Wombats and Reverend and the Makers are available from via www.kililive.com/rhcp, www.seetickets.com or www.ticketmaster.co.uk and the tour credit card hotlines are 0844 871 8803 and 0871 989 1601.