Sunderland's Social Room cap off most successful year yet with hometown gig

Homegrown act Social Room will cap off their most successful year yet with a sold out Sunderland show.

Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:45 am
Social Room to play at Independent. From left Adam Potts and Matty Smith

The six-piece, who hail from Seaham and Sunderland, have been honing their sound on the live circuit for more than three years, but 2017 saw them step up a gear with support slots for Dave Stewart, the Happy Mondays and The Sherlocks.

Mackem music legend Dave liked the charismatic band so much he’s produced their latest single and has been giving them tips on how to break into the notoriously tough music industry.

Social Room to play at Independent. From left Adam Potts and Matty Smith

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Following on from warming up the crowds for Happy Mondays at this year’s Sunniside Live in July and supporting Dave at his 65th birthday gig at Sunderland Empire in September, the band will headline their own gig at Independent in Holmeside on Saturday, December 16, with support from Vida.

Frontman Matty Smith said: “We’ve played a Christmas gig at Independent for the past three years, but this is the first time it’s sold out in advance. “This year, more than ever, we’ve really noticed our fan base growing and we can’t wait to perform.

“We’ve had an incredible year and playing the Empire was unbelievable. Last time I was there before that was as a kid watching the panto, so to be on stage looking out was an amazing sight.”

Dave was so impressed with the band’s music that he asked Matty to step into Mick Jagger’s shoes and perform Old Habits Die Hard with him on stage, a track which won him a Golden Globe Award after it featured on the film Alfie.

Social Room to play at Independent. From left Adam Potts and Matty Smith

Recognising their talent, Dave has also produced the band’s latest single Let’s Talk, the video for which was filmed on Blast Beach in Seaham.

Matty said: “We’ve always been confident in our sound, but to have someone like that think you’re worthy of being looked at has really given us that extra boost.”

He added: “He pays a lot of attention in the studio. He rang me up afterwards about a particular note I’d done in the studio and when he heard the record he asked me to go back and put it in. And he was right.”

Band member Adam Potts said: “He doesn’t have to support local talent like that, but he takes a real interest in what we’re doing and to have someone like that recognise you makes playing those gigs over the years, when it was perhaps just a couple of people in a bar, all worthwhile.”

Joining Matty and Adam on stage will be band members Tim Harker, Christopher Leonard, Alex Gunn and Simon Bewick.

The New Year will bring other new developments for the band, who’ve spent the past few months in the recording studio, with the release of their new single and EP.

Adam said: “There seems a real appetite for live bands at the minute with acts like Blossoms, the Sherlocks and Catfish and the Bottlemen regularly being played on Radio 1, which is great for us as it shows that there’s that fan base there.”

Harry Collinson, from Rough Diamond Management, who introduced the band to Dave, said: “Dave’s been really supportive of the band, he thinks they have a great vibe, lyrics and singer and he loves their sound.

“This is a really exciting time for them and their fans.”