Frankie and the Heartstrings plan Sunderland gig

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SUNDERLAND band Frankie and the Heartstings have announced a one-off hometown gig as they release their first album today.

The hotly-tipped indie pop five-piece have stopped off at Durham, Middlesbrough and Newcastle on their UK tour, but Sunderland had been left off the gig list – until now.

Today, the band have announced a special set at Independent on April 22 to recognise the launch of their debut album, Hunger.

Free tickets to the Sunderland tour date are only available to fans who buy the album from HMV in Sunderland or Newcastle in the week of release.

Frontman Frankie Francis, from Houghton, said: “This feels like our first home town headline show in forever, so we’re really excited about it.

“To play in your home town is always a special thing, and to do so shortly after our debut record comes out is especially so. We’re planning a few surprises and it’s guaranteed to be a brilliant night.”

The special Sunderland tour date sees the band return to the Holmeside venue where they played their first ever gig on December 22, 2008.

Frankie, 25, said: “We don’t get the opportunity to play Sunderland as much as we like.

“Playing Independent will be extra special. We played our first ever gig there and recorded our demos in the loft upstairs. I also used to work there.”

Since that first gig, the band have gone on to be dubbed “ones to watch” by the music industry, playing prestigious slots at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading Festivals and Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

The coming months are a whirlwind of activity for the band as they continue their biggest UK tour to date.

As well as heading to the U.S. to play its South By Southwest Festival and shows in Los Angeles and New York, the band have announced they will play a five-date headline Topman CTRL UK tour, which are shows open to students only.

Frankie said: “The tour’s been mental, we’ve had sell-out shows in Newcastle and Leeds. We can’t wait for the album launch too. It will be the biggest day of our lives, we work so hard and we are so proud of what we do.”

The band’s eagerly awaited debut album was produced by Orange Juice legend Edwyn Collins.

The title track was released as a single last week.

l Free tickets were available from today at the HMV stores in the Bridges, Sunderland, and Northumberland Street, Newcastle, on a first come, first served basis.