Concert will honour Sunderland punk legend Dickie Hammond

Last year's Smile Concert at Mowbray Park
Last year's Smile Concert at Mowbray Park
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The memory of a Sunderland punk legend will live on in an annual concert to showcase emerging talent.

Tributes poured in for guitarist and songwriter Dickie Hammond, who died last October aged 50. He left behind years of memorable performances as a member of influential 1990s local punk band Leatherface.

Late musician Dickie Hammond

Late musician Dickie Hammond

The talented musician had also played with the Angelic Upstarts and The Dipsomaniacs, Doctor Bison, Generic, H.D.Q., Hex, Stokoe, The Jones, and Toy Dolls, and was credited with inspiring a host of future musicians.

Now, money collected in lieu of flowers at his funeral, which was held at Sunderland Crematorium, will be donated to the Sunderland Music Workshops where Dickie was a frequent visitor.

Over the years, the workshops, based at Deptford and Millfield Community Centre, have fostered the talents of a host of successful musicians including members of Field Music and Futureheads.

Following the donation of £620, a recording room at the workshops will be named after dad-of-two Dickie.

And this year’s Smile Concert, which is held annually in Mowbray Park to showcase the talents of workshop members, will he held in Dickie’s honour.

Dave Murray, who founded the Sunderland Music Workshops in the 90s, said: “Rather than flowers, Dickie’s family asked for people to donate to the workshops, which was very touching. They said they wanted the money to help kids develop their music skills.

“Hundreds attended the funeral, many of them influential musicians themselves, it shows how well respected he was. He was truly a punk hero.

“Dickie would come to the workshops every now and again and was very talented.”

He added: “His mum Valerie Hammond will present the cheque and will open the concert. She’s kindly given us some personal items to display on the day, including his guitars.”

Acts performing at next month’s concert include Fire Lady Luck, who will perform a cover of one of Dickie’s tracks.

Other bands and solo acts who will take to the stage include: Symbiant, Chloe Robson, Tammy Proctor, Trinity Tweddle, Greg Moss, Peter Carmody, Super Sonic, Megan Berry, Alex Conor, Corine Andrews and more.

There will also be face painting and body art from 1pm to 3pm.

•This year’s Smile Concert, supported by Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Sunderland City Council, will take place at the bandstand in Mowbray Park on Saturday, August 13 from noon until 4pm. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.