Fresh from a tour of Germany, The Lake Poets brought the house down on his home stage.
Martin Longstaff, who performs solo and with a band as The Lake Poets, performed a solo set at Pop Recs, in Stockton Road, to mark the release of a vinyl version of his debut album.
The self-titled record has been released as a double LP along with a Live at the Minster LP, which was recorded at his sold-out Sunderland Minster gigs last September.
Martin, from East Herrington, said: “Although I teach here with the Cuckoo Writers Group, this is my first time performing at Pop Recs. What they do here is fantastic, it’s a great asset to the city.”
The album’s original release struck a chord at home and away, with single Your Face racking up 3million plays on Spotify and winning rave reviews from MOJO and Uncut magazines.
Though tracks like Shipyards and Vane Tempest pay tribute to Sunderland’s industrial heritage, the album was recorded in Nashville, USA, after Martin signed a management deal with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame.
Today's free gig followed a set the night before by Pop Recs founders Frankie & the Heartstrings to coincide with the national Record Store Day. The five-piece also released a new record over the weekend, which features covers of The Night by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson.
Heartstrings drummer Dave Harper, who runs the record shop and venue with band member Michael McKnight, said: “It’s great to have Martin perform an acoustic set here. His music’s doing incredibly well, he’s an international act. This weekend’s been great, the shop’s been packed. Free gigs like this don’t happen that often in Sunderland. We’re bidding for the City of Culture 2021 title and things like this all show the strings to our bow.”