The Lake Poets tutor Genfactor hopefuls as Sunderland music competition gets underway

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This year’s Genfactor hopefuls have been limbering up for the final, with a little help from The Lake Poets.

Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets, took a break from promoting his debut album to meet the 16 finalists, including solo singers, dancers, bands and actors, aged 11-16, from Genfactor 2015.

He gave the young performers tips on how to keep their cool when they take to the stage for the final at Rainton Meadows Arena, on Wednesday, October 28.

Martin, from East Herrington, said: “We have a wealth of talent in the North East and if we can get all of the creative, intelligent, expressive, musical and theatrical people of Sunderland together and get them to perform, we can show the world and we can show each other just how talented we all are.

“If you’ve got people behind you, like those at Genfactor, encouraging you to do things and applauding you throughout, it can only build your confidence and make you realise your potential.”

Organised by social enterprise Gentoo Group, the Genfactor is a talent competition which gives young people from across Sunderland the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Martin, who is managed by Eurythmics star Dave Stewart, will also be a judge at the Genfactor final.

He’ll be joined by Gentoo’s acting chief executive John Craggs, former Futureheads frontman Barry Hyde, professional dancer and West End performer Brandon Lee Sears, and dance teacher Natalie Catlah, from the Barre Studio.

Special performances on the night include Barry Hyde and a choir who will be singing The Seagulls and the Saint.