A leading Sunderland act is looking forward to taking to the stage at a city music spectacular.
Hyde & Beast will headline on the first day of this weekend’s Summer Streets Musical Festival, in Thompson Park, Southwick.
The band, who’ve received critical acclaim for their recently-released EP Hard Times, Good Times, is led by former Golden Virgins drummer Neil Bassett, and former Futureheads band member Dave Hyde.
As well as having their track, Keep Moving, featured in a national charity advert, the band recently featured on BBC Radio 6, with airplay on programmes from Marc Riley and Gideon Coe.
Neil says the band is looking forward to playing on their home stage.
“We’re both from the city and still live here, so we love playing Sunderland and thankfully we always get a fantastic reception,” he said.
“When we first started out you looked out from the stage and you knew everyone, but now we play places where we don’t know anyone and in a way, it’s less scary.
“We’ll be playing two numbers from our EP, which is being released on August 14, as well as some songs from our first two albums.”
Neil and Dave will be joined by the band’s six other members, including a horn section, and for a couple of numbers by a choir, the Whitburn Singers, who were created through a Cultural Spring workshop.
“At one point there’ll be about 20 of us on stage, which will be great,” said Neil.
We’re both from the city and still live here, so we love playing Sunderland and thankfully we always get a fantastic reception,Neil Bassett, Hyde & Beast
Summer Streets is a free event held in Thompson Park, Southwick, and is being organised by Ross Millard, from Frankie & the Heartstrings, on behalf of The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council-funded project working to increase participation in the arts on Wearside and South Tyneside.
Ross said: “We want to showcase the amazing talent of local and regional bands, but at the same time introduce audiences to new musical genres.
“We don’t just concentrate on one or two types of musical styles, our strength is the diversity of musical genres people will be able to enjoy.”
The community musical festival will start with a procession from Southwick Primary School to Thompson Park.
The procession will start at noon tomorrow, and will have a rolling roadblock behind it as it parades along the Green and on to Thompson Park Road.
There will be three stages and various smaller teepees in Thompson Park, and the musical programme on the Saturday will run from 1pm to 7pm.
Hyde and Beast will follow performances from blues band George Shovlin and the Radars; 30s-style big band Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra; country-style rockers Big Red and the Grinners, and 10-piece ‘brassy jazz’ band Brassy B.
Performers on the other three stages include Alf Scott’s Hylton Ukes; psychedelic rockers Pale Horse Riders; ‘gothic country’ band Hillfolk Noir; popular South Tyneside singers Harton Harmonisers; This Little Bird; Southwick folk duo Yuma and acoustic blues duo Auld Man’s Baccie from Seaham Harbour.
As with the inaugural Summer Streets last year, there will be comedy for kids from Lee Kyle and music for the younger members of the audience from Tiny Tweeties.
The Sunday will feature an Alice in Wonderland themed picnic, with the whole day having more of an emphasis on family fun than music.
Families will be encouraged to bring along their own picnics, although there will be food vendors and a bar present on both days.
•For more information on Summer Streets visit www.theculturalspring.co.uk.