Sunderland singer The Lake Poets is looking forward to raising the roof on the North East stage as part of a UK tour.
The indie folk act, aka Martin Longstaff, has teamed up with Rachel Sermanni for a double header national tour with dates at Hartlepool’s St Hilda’s Church and Sage Gateshead.
The tour follows a sold-out joint gig they performed at St Pancras Old Church in London earlier this month.
Starting on November 23, the string of dates will cap off a successful year for Martin which has seen him tour across Europe and rack up six million plays on Spotify of single Your Face.
The track is from his self-titled debut album, released at the end of last year, which was recorded in Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studio and produced by fellow Mackem Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame.
Speaking about teaming up with folk singer Rachel for the tour, Martin said: “I’ve been a big fan of hers for quite a while and we have a similar style of music.
“We had a gig together at St Pancras Old Church which was a really lovely gig, so the tour came from that.”
He added: “It’s been a busy year, I toured all over Europe at the beginning of the year, did some festivals in the summer and then took some time off as I got married.
“I’ve also been doing a lot of song-writing for other people, both signed and unsigned acts.”
As well as his own gigging, Martin teaches at a regular young writers workshop at Pop Recs in Stockton Road, Sunderland, where he helps young people to express themselves through music.
He’s also a passionate supporter of Sunderland’s City of Culture 2021 bid and often draws inspiration from his home city for his tracks, which touch upon the lost shipyards and how the Miners’ Strike decimated communities.
“I’m really hopeful and I absolutely want us to win,” he said. “It can only be a positive thing for the city and, even if we don’t win, if the bid itself makes people think about arts and culture in a positive way, that can only be good.
“The writing group has really grown and you can see the immediate benefit of engaging in writing with these kids. They go from barely being able to look me in the eye to standing on the stage and performing to hundreds of people at the Summer Streets Festival.”
•The Lake Poets and Rachel Sermanni play Hartlepool St Hilda’s Church on November 26. Tickets from www.seetickets.com
•The pair play Sage Gateshead, supported by Young Sinfonia, on December 3. Tickets from www.sagegateshead.com