Sunderland's Social Room release debut EP with help from music legend Dave Stewart

A North East band who've built up a loyal following thanks to their live gigs have released their much-anticipated debut EP, which has been produced by Sunderland music legend Dave Stewart.

Monday, 20th August 2018, 11:47 am
Updated Monday, 20th August 2018, 11:50 am
Social Room's EP Bright Star

Social Room first caught the ear of the music legend, who shot to international fame in Eurythmics with Annie Lennox, last year when he was looking for local bands to support him at his special 65th birthday gig at Sunderland Empire.

The Barnes-born musician, songwriter and producer was so impressed with the six-piece that he asked lead singer Matty Smith 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.

And since the Empire gig last September he’s stayed in touch with the band, joining them in the Blast recording studio in Newcastle as they recorded single Let’s Talk and subsequently mixing and mastering their debut EP BrightStar from his studio in America.

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The resulting EP has been released this month and its tracks will feature at a hometown gig at The Point in Park Lane, Sunderland, on November 3.

Lead singer Matty said: “We’ve been working on the EP for months and after recording it at Blast sent it over to Dave to work on. You can record a record, but it’s the mastering that makes it radio ready. He gave us some great feedback on the songs but put his professional polish on them.

“It’s amazing that someone of his calibre has chosen to support us as he doesn’t have to do that, but he feels really passionately about supporting emerging bands from his home city. As well as the EP, he’s given us loads of advice on the music industry. It’s easy to get into a rut as a band, but he’s been great at giving us tips on how to get noticed by the industry and how to promote ourselves.”

On stage Matty is joined by fellow band members Adam Potts on guitar, Simon Bewick on guitar, Alex Gunn on bass, Christopher Leonard on keyboard and Tim Harker on drums, who all hail from the Sunderland and East Durham areas.

With a sound inspired by Brit pop and New Wave, they’ve built up a strong fan base locally over the years thanks to performances at Sunniside Live in Sunderland, Evolution Emerging in Newcastle, Sunderland’s Tall Ships Races, Hardwick Live, Stockton Calling and We Are Family in Hartlepool.

They’re also set to prove popular at Lindisfarne Festival, which takes place in Northumberland from August 30 to September 2, after winning a competition giving an unsigned band the chance to perform.

Matty said: “We’ve got a really good local following and have had a great response to the EP so far, now what we need to do is push that out further.

“We were working on the EP for most of this year so missed some of the big festivals, but want to focus on that in the future and getting our sound heard by even more people. We’re also really excited for our gig at The Point, it’s always great to play your home town.”

•EP BrightStar is available now from iTunes and Amazon music.

•Social Room play The Point on November 3, Tickets from