Bands ready for launch of Sunderland Airshow

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A SINGER has promised a night to remember for those attending Friday’s Airshow launch extravaganza.

Phil Armstrong’s band, the Counterfeit 60s, will be joined by X Factor’s The Risk, to get the Sunderland International Airshow off to a flying start.

The group only started performing live last year and it will be one of the biggest shows the quartet has played. Phil, 56, hopes everyone will enjoy their take on some swinging 60s classics.

He said: “We’ve found that for a lot of people it’s a nostalgic show and, in our opinion, it was the best decade for pop music.

“Sixties songs have never really gone away. We’ve played at weddings and find that the younger people know the words just as much as the older ones.

“The set will be a bit of a stripped down one, it’s only 45 minutes and we normally play for two hours. We’ll still have all our dancers with us though and we’re going to keep it up-tempo.”

Most of the band has been performing for years and has played to audiences made up of “one man and his dog” on more than one occasion.

Phil believes Friday’s crowd, expected to be around 10,000, will only help them up their game.

“It’s probably the largest audience I’ve ever played,” he said. “Playing to a vast sea of faces will be a little less intimidating, I think, than when you can see the whites of people’s eyes, so the more the merrier.

“Let’s hope it’s sunny and everyone gets in the spirit of the thing and claps and dances along.”

Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, is looking forward to the event. He said: “This is the 24th year of the Sunderland International Airshow and it has become one of the best and biggest events of its kind.

“Friday evening has now become a big part of the weekend and previous launch nights have been very popular. This year’s line-up is once again going to please a lot of people.

“I’m certain Friday’s free event is going to be really good night and a great start to the airshow itself on Saturday and Sunday.”