The Lake Poets return to Sunderland for first hometown gig in a year

Martin Longstaff in the spotlight in his hometown.
Martin Longstaff in the spotlight in his hometown.
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ONE of Sunderland’s most popular music talents will be debuting his new material on his home stage.

Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets, will perform at Independent in Holmeside later this month – his first Sunderland gig for a year.

The 24-year-old from East Herrington performed his first ever gig at the former Independent two years ago and, since then, has gone on to share the stage with the likes of Willy Mason, Ben Howard, Tom Jones and Jake Bugg.

As well as sell-out gigs in the North East, his haunting folk music has also led to a sell-out show at London’s prestigious Roundhouse Theatre, as well as festival slots at Glastonbury, Kendal Calling, T in the Park and Evolution.

Martin’s tracks are often inspired by Wearside and he will debut a new song inspired by the former Seaham colliery, Vane Tempest, at the Independent gig on November 30.

“It’s a year ago since we played a full band show in Sunderland, so we can’t wait,” said Martin who hopes to release his debut EP next year. “I’m still on a two-month UK-wide tour at the minute, so this show will mark the end of that.

“We’ll be playing all the single releases like April and City by the Sea, but we’ve also been recording some new music at The Miners’ Hall studio in Silksworth which we’ll be performing on the night.

“There’s three new tracks, two of them haven’t got names yet, but one, Vane Tempest, is inspired by my dad’s time working there and the economic downturn of the 1980s.”

The concert, which will be staged in the venue’s Room 2, will raise money for The North East Motor Neurone Disease Trust after Martin lost a family friend to the disease when he was in his ’30s.

Proceeds from ticket sales, as well as funds raised from a Sunderland-themed raffle, will be donated to the charity.

•Tickets for The Lake Poets at Independent, with support from Nev Clay, Trev Gibb and This Little Bird, are £7 from