Band aims to raise the roof with gig

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MACKEM minstrels Field Music will be making a rare gig appearance in their home city.

They’ll be taking to the stage at Independent, Holmeside, on Saturday, April 14 in a bid to help the city’s most valuable music project.

The Bunker, on Stockton Road, which has helped to launch the careers of the city’s most successful music exports, is under threat due to the state of the building’s roof.

The Raise The Roof campaign, which Field Music have pledged to support, aims to plug the roof’s leaks once and for all and to preserve the charity’s support of grassroots music.

Peter Brewis from Field Music said: “I’ve been going to the Bunker since the early 90s when Dave and I had our first proper band rehearsal.

“Since then we’ve recorded there, worked there, formed bands there, and met many, many lifelong friends. Without it, music in Sunderland would be very very different. Would bands like the Futureheads, Kenickie, Leatherface, The Golden Virgins, Hyde and Beast have even existed without the bunker? I’m not so sure. I am sure, however, that Field Music wouldn’t have.”

Peter added: “I think Sunderland owes a great deal to The Bunker. Not just because of the bands it has helped to nurture. Well known bands reveal only a fraction of the important work that The Bunker does. The Bunker gives people opportunity to express themselves, to learn, to make friends.

“It encourages people to work together, for each other, for their community. It has changed people’s lives and continues to. The work The Bunker does is truly invaluable and Sunderland cannot do without it. The very least we can do is help them build a new roof.”

Field Music - made up brothers Peter and David Brewis plus Kevin Dosdale on keys and guitar and new band member Andrew Lowther on bass - this week released their highly anticipated fourth album, Plumb.

Kenny Sanger, managing director of The Bunker explained: “It’s an amazing gesture for Peter and David to donate the proceeds from the gig, we are extremely grateful, and very pleased that we’ll have a new roof over our heads.”

Scott Power, from music promoters Independent Live added: “We hope that this will inspire other local musicians and businesses to perhaps host their own events to help the campaign reach it’s target. It’s time we all gave something back to the institution that has helped most of Sunderland’s music community in some shape or form over the years.”

•Tickets are on sale now and are priced £10 (subject to booking fee) with all proceeds going to the Raise The Roof campaign. Tickets are available from / and in person from Hot Rats on Stockton Road, Sunderland.


The Bunker is a fundamental part of Sunderland’s rich musical heritage.

The building, which once played host to shows from The Clash and Billy Bragg, was also the base from which Frankie Stubbs and Leatherface launched their forays into the alternative music charts in the late 80s.

The 90s saw the development of Sunderland Music Workshops and spawned dozens of bands including The Futureheads and Field Music and even a donation and a visit from the late, great John Peel who always championed the Sunderland scene.

Thirty years on and The Bunker remains a charitable organisation that continues to support grassroots music and local community work.

The Bunker also boasts a list of residents including Neil Bassett’s Room3Recordings, Frankie & the Heartstrings, Hyde & Beast, The Futureheads plus Ben Wall and Scott Power of Independent Live, who currently promote live events around the UK.