X Factor winner among performers lined up for Sunderland city centre venue Old Skool

Some famous names are heading for Sunderland city centre in a bar which is carving a name as a live music venue.

On Friday, March 25, Old Skool on Vine Place will host a gig by Steve Brookstein, the first winner of The X Factor back in 2004.

He went on to achieve UK number ones with his album Heart and Soul and with his single, a cover of the Phil Collins song Against All Odds which knocked Band Aid 20 off the top spot in early 2005.

Before that, on Friday, February 18, Old Skool will see performances by Meatloaf vs Cher. The double tribute act has gone down a storm in Benidorm and will belt out all the biggest hits of the legendary stars.

Manager of Old Skool on Vine Place, James Boal.

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    Other famous acts are being lined up on a monthly basis, but the names will only be revealed in due course.

    The pub has previously been called Pharmacy, Club Upside Down and Bavaria. Under its latest name it is proving a hit.

    There is a roof garden and inside is a mural of musical giants such as David Bowie, Bob Marley and Madonna, created by acclaimed Sunderland artist Frank Styles, well known for his huge outdoor murals across the city.

    Another novelty attraction which Old Skool punters love is the opportunity to stand inside the “Limited Edition Barbie Box”, which is a human size version of the packaging that the classic Mattel doll used to come in.

    X Factor winner Steve Brookstein is to perform at Old Skool. Getty Images.

    There have been queues of customers waiting to take fun pictures.

    Old Skool, as the name suggests, is themed on 1980s and 1990s nostalgia. All of the effort seems to be paying off.

    Owner Lee Davison said: “What I’m trying to achieve is to create an old fashioned night out in Sunderland city centre. If it’s successful we could do it each week.

    “We thought of a Benidorm style venue where it’s not too expensive and you can have a good night. We’re trying to offer a night out like in the 80s and 90s, where people don’t just sit staring at their phones.”

    Old Skool manager James Boal, left, with owner Lee Davison.

    The Meatloaf vs Cher gig starts at 8.30pm, the Steve Brookstein gig at 9pm with tickets for both events costing £5. See the Old Skool Facebook page for more details.

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    Old Skool manager James Boal demonstrates the 'Barbie box'.

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    Frank Styles mural in Old Skool of Bob Marley, Madonna and David Bowie.
    Old Skool manager James Boal demonstrates the 'Barbie box'.