A star-studded series of summer concerts are brought to a close as the South Tyneside Festival reaches its explosive conclusion at Bents Park.

With each year that passes the South Tyneside Festival just keeps getting bigger and better. This year the likes of The Vamps, Scouting For Girls, and Pixie Lott, have all featured on its bill. 

Although Mother Nature wasn’t entirely being cooperative with the weather at the weekend, it didn’t stop thousands of revellers descending upon the coast for a fantastic afternoon of live entertainment in South Shields.

To coin an old phrase, the show must go on and the music fans came prepared armed with their cagoules, umbrellas, deck chairs and picnics. The resilient North East crowd braved the weather regardless of what was in store.

Opening the afternoon’s entertainment was local lad James Bassett, who warmed up the crowds with a couple of songs on his ukulele including a superb rendition of George Formby’s “When I’m Cleaning Windows”. Despite his young age Bassett has already performed in front of Her Majesty The Queen and also on television with an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.

X-Factor star Sam Lavery followed and delivered somewhat of a lively set which certainly got the South Shields crowd dancing with their umbrellas. Sam treated the crowd to her incredible take on James Arthur’s “Impossible” and Anne Marie’s “2002” along with her dancefloor filler “For The Night”.

The X-Factor alumni continued into the afternoon, as Liverpool’s Rebecca Ferguson performed a stripped back set alongside her guitarist and backing vocalist. Rebecca ushered in a beautiful soulful Sunday afternoon with her spellbinding cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, the timeless classic “Proud Mary” along with the title track to her fourth studio album “Superwoman”.

By the time fellow Scousers Atomic Kitten took to the stage, the clouds parted and the sun belted down on South Shields, if only for a short while. Following their impressive set at last year’s festival Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton delivered a crowd-pleasing greatest hits set that had their fans hanging on every word.  This included fan favourites such as “Be With You”, “Eternal Flame” and “Ladies Night”. The pop duo recently had their hit single “Whole Again” adopted by England fans during the World Cup. The song, of course, resulted in a mass singalong from the South Tyneside faithful.

The afternoon and the festival were brought to a close by Heather Small who took the crowd through songs from her extensive 25-year career. The powerhouse vocalist showcased a set packed full of 90s classics including M People’s “One Night In Heaven”, “How Can I Love You More”, along with the anthemic “Movin’ On Up”.

Heather Small will be returning to the North East in August where she will be playing at Hardwick Live alongside the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, the Happy Mondays, Vintage Trouble and Melanie C. On the strength of this show alone, she is not to be missed on her return.

Throughout the summer the South Tyneside Festival has brought together the perfect blend of established acts whilst simultaneously supporting and developing some of the region’s finest emerging talent. We can hardly wait for 2019 already.

South Tyneside Festival
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Event Date: 29-July-2018

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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