Ghostlight Sessions at Sunderland Empire

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The Ghostlight Sessions: six weeks of music performances from talented Sunderland artists recorded on the spectacular stage and in other locations within the Grade 2 Sunderland Empire theatre. A new pre-recorded set will be released each week between Thursday 8 July - Thursday 12 August 2021.

Gigs will be performed on Sunderland Empire's Facebook Live or on their YouTube channel.

Sunderland Empire has been closed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. While the Sunderland theatre prepares to turn off the ghost light and welcome back theatre-goers for live performances once again - the company have arranged a series of virtual gigs which will play homage to the iconic spaces within the Grade 2 listed theatre.

The Ghostlight Sessions will take place online throughout July and August and will showcase a hotbed of musical talent from Sunderland with the Futureheads, Big Fat Big, Faye Fantarrow, Picnic, Field Music and The Lake Poets.

The virtual performances will be streamed on Sunderland Empire's social channels and will be available afterwards to watch for free. The events will take place on Thursdays, starting Thursday 8 July, and running weekly for the next six weeks.

The Ghostlight Sessions line-up

  • Thursday 8 July, 8pm: The Futureheads
  • Thursday 15 July: Six-piece band Picnic
  • Thursday 22 July: Indie-rock trio Big Fat Big
  • Thursday 29 July Mercury Music Prize nominated Wearside band Field Music
  • Thursday 5 August: Emerging singer Faye Fantarrow
  • Thursday 12 August: The Lake Poets, led by singer-songwriter Marty Longstaff

About the performers

The Futureheads are a popular, post-punk four-piece band

Picnic were selected by Sunderland-born Eurythmics star Dave Stewart to play his 65th birthday gig in 2017 and will showcase their sound that blends indie with jazz, funk and pop.

Big Fat Big have recently had airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music, and made an appearance at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Mercury Music Prize nominated Wearside band Field Music are fronted by brothers Peter and David Brewis, Field Music will be rocking the theatre fresh from a recent return to Later with Jools Holland.

North East’s burgeoning indie scene has seen the rise of emerging singer Faye Fantarrow who has recently released her second single of 2021, 'Kola Kiss' - a dreamy folk-infused pop banger about breaking away from societal norms.

The Lake Poets
, led by singer-songwriter Marty Longstaff, whose song Shipyards featured on the opening sequence to the Sunderland AFC Netflix documentary Sunderland Til I Die, will be making an infectious and gripping appearance.

The Ghostlight Sessions have been recorded by Sunderland recording producers Motorhouse Studios.

Thursday 1st July 2021 marks the 114th Birthday for Sunderland Empire so what better time to launch a series of virtual events?

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