Stranglers frontman Baz Warne is returning home for a solo set.
The Sunderland-born singer and guitarist is taking a brief break from playing with the punk veterans to head home - and he’s fitted in an acoustic set at the city’s newest culture hub.
Since moving from its original premises in St George’s Terrace to a much larger site in Marine Walk, Roker, Fausto Coffee has branched out from just coffee and cakes to host a book club and gigs, as well as plans for its own pop choir.
More used to playing festivals and stages across the globe, Baz will perform an intimate set when he performs at the venue on Sunday, September 3 with support from fellow Mackem musician Paul Liddell.
Baz, who took over as frontman of The Stranglers in 2000, said: “I only moved away from Sunderland just over a year ago, but I come back regularly to see family. I’m here for a few days in September and thought it would be great to play a gig. I haven’t done a gig in Sunderland, especially not an acoustic one, in a while so I messaged Paul and asked where was a good venue and he suggested Fausto.
“I’d actually not been there before, but it’s a great addition to the seafront. I remember being a kid and no one would come down here because it was the Block Yard. I used to live in the Echo 24 building for nine years so I could see all the changes being made down here and it’s fantastic to see. When the sun’s out down here, it’s as cosmopolitan as the next place.”
With a career spanning four decades, The Stranglers are one of the most continuously successful bands to have emerged from the UK punk rock scene with hits including Golden Brown, No More Heroes, Peaches and Always the Sun.
Today, with Baz at the helm, they’re still a hugely popular feature on the live music scene, regularly touring the UK and selling out venues such as Brixton Academy, as well as tours as far afield as Australia.
As someone who’s made a career out of their passion for music, Baz says he’s behind his hometown’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
“We recently played Hull, the current City of Culture, and it’s great to see the difference it’s made there,” he said. “People talk about Sunderland’s decline, but I really don’t see it. It’s always been a hotbed for musicians and actors and actresses, and though I probably see it differently because I don’t live here every day because I’m on the road, when I come back there are definitely developments that have been made. Something like City of Culture can only build on that.”
As part of the gig, Baz will be performing Stranglers songs, as well as some original tracks, for a set he describes as the “black jukebox.”
•Tickets for Baz Warne at Fausto Coffee, Marine Walk, Roker, on September 3 are £5 from http://www.wegottickets.com/paulliddell or they can be reserved at Fausto.