Split Festival returned to Sunderland after a break last year, this time moving to a new city center location at Mowbray Park.

Despite the rainy weather, the loyal North East concert goers showed up in droves to support the impressive bill of talent from the local music scene, as well as seeing some of the more established acts headliners Maximo Park and The Cribs.

Young Liar from Newcastle kicked off the day on Stage Two with their guitar driven, fast paced instrumental rock, playing their first show in nine months to a decent sized crowd.

Next up were the sharply dressed So What Robot, bringing their fun and catchy, bass heavy, indie rock, to the festival crowd, who they thanked for coming down so early in the rain, when they could have been at home enjoying their Sunday lunch.

The Generals kicked off on the main stage with their own brand of indie rock, before Sunderland’s own Cohesion brought one of the biggest crowds of the day to the second stage and a great response as well.

Lilliput changed the tone on the main stage with an Americana vibe, bringing a set of almost Fleet Foxes-esque folk rock, before Barry Hyde, from one of Sunderland’s most successful bands, The Futureheads.

Hyde delivered a superb set of solo material to the a tent, which was overflowing with people trying to catch a glimpse.

School of Language, a prog rock project from Field Music’s David and Peter Brewis, played an impressive set consisting of their new material on Stage Two with a packed crowd.

Frankie and the Heartstrings, played a great set combining tracks from their first two albums, the rain not putting off the crowd on the main stage one bit.

The Cribs gave a lively set on the main stage, playing their first show in Sunderland in ten years. They played a set packed with classics like, We Share The Same Skies and Mans Dreams. The band left the stage in true Rock and Roll fashion with front man Ryan Jarman launching his guitar into his amp, stack leaving the sound of feedback echoing around the park.

Headliners Maximo Park closed the festival with an exciting set of Indie Rock, which included old classics like, Books from Boxes, Apply Some Pressure, and Our Velocity, as well as tracks from their latest album Too Much Information.

All in all, a great festival which has come on from strength to strength since its early days. Exciting times ahead for Split Festival and the entire Sunderland music scene.

Maximo Park:
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The Cribs:
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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