James Corden backs Sunderland’s The Lake Poets to be Christmas No 1 with haunting Shipyards track

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Ha’way in a Manger! James Corden has backed Sunderland’s The Lake Poets as he bids to be Christmas No 1.

Shipyards by The Lake Poets - the performance name of singer / songwriter Martin Longstaff - is already riding high at No4 in the iTunes chart after striking a chord with audiences on the sound track to new Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die.

The poignant track, which Martin wrote in tribute to his late grandfather who worked at Austin & Pickersgill shipyards and the city’s lost industry, has captured the imaginations of audiences, including SAFC owner Stewart Donald and former One Direction member Niall Horan who have both taken to social media in support of the haunting track.

Now comedian and presenter James Corden has backed the song, tweeting to his 10million followers: “I want this to be Christmas No 1. Let’s do it. Shipyards by @thelakepoets.”

Speaking about the reaction to his track, Martin said: “This song means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family and it’s nice that it is resonating with people - that’s what it is all about.”

Fellow Mackem musician Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame, sent a number of tracks to the team behind the documentary who selected Shipyards to appear on the opening credits. The musician has long been a supporter of Martin’s and produced his debut self-titled album, on which Shipyards appears.

In the documentary, which was released on Friday, Shipyards features over an emotional sequence of graphics depicting the history of industry on Wearside and the club, which today stands on the site of the former Wearmouth Colliery.

The eight-part docu-series was put together by London-based production company Fulwell73, which was founded by life-long Sunderland supporters brothers Gabe and Ben Turner, their cousin Leo Pearlman and their friend Ben Winston. James Corden joined the company as a fifth partner last year and the company co-produces his hugely-successful The Late Late Show with James Corden.

The series has been hugely well-received on Sunderland for its heartfelt portrayal of last season’s demoralising relegation dog fight.

A campaign has also been started to get Martin, from East Herrington, to perform Shipyards on the pitch at the Boxing Day match against Bradford City FC.

Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets

Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets

•Read more about the meaning behind Shipyards here Purchase the track here.

•We speak to Fulwell73 about their labour of love filming SAFC here.