80s pop group The Blow Monkeys set for South Tyneside summer gig

British 1980s pop group The Blow Monkeys are coming to South Shields.
British 1980s pop group The Blow Monkeys are coming to South Shields.
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British pop group The Blow Monkeys are set to take the stage in South Shields.

The 1980s band are the first act to be announced for this year’s South Tyneside Festival.

A huge crowd is expected at South Shields seafront when the legendary band – best known for their hits Digging Your Scene and It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way – performs at the open air Amphitheatre at Sandhaven on Saturday, June 25.

The group, fronted by the iconic Dr Robert (Robert Howard), epitomised the glamour of mid 80s pop at its most graceful and sophisticated. Their music even contributed to film soundtracks including Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way) and Dirty Dancing (You Don’t Own Me).

The Blow Monkeys reformed in 2008 and their latest album If Not Now, When? released last year, was a huge success.

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming The Blow Monkeys to play at the Amphitheatre this year. I am sure the band will go down a storm here in South Tyneside.

“The Amphitheatre live music programme is a great way to showcase North East talent and offer music lovers from across the region and people of all ages the opportunity to see big names like The Blow Monkeys perform some of their classic hits and new material for free.

“It’s a popular part of the annual South Tyneside Festival and this year looks set to be no exception.”

Performances will be taking place at the Amphitheatre, in Sea Road, every Thursday and Saturday, from 7pm to 9pm, during June as part of the South Tyneside Festival 2016.

First on the bill will be Bessie & The Zinc Buckets and King Size Voodoo Traveller. They will be taking to the stage, on Thursday, June 2.

Local musician Steve Daggett, of Lindisfarne fame, will support The Blow Monkeys.

Music lovers will also get the chance to see a wide range of artists performing live, including The Firelight Opera (June 4), UK Rock Legends and Russ Tippins (June 11) and Albino Crocodiles and The Crack (June 18).

There will also be an opportunity to support up-and-coming regional talent with showcases by CustomSpace featuring Stratosphere, Alba Nights and Envy (June 9), South Tyneside College (June 16, starting at an earlier time of 6.30pm) and The Garage recording studio (June 23).

The Amphitheatre live music programme is organised by South Tyneside Council in partnership with Minchella & Co. The evenings are free to attend and represent the start of the wider South Tyneside Festival 2016, which runs from June until the end of August.

Other highlights in the South Tyneside Festival include a spectacular nautical themed parade through the streets of South Shields on Saturday, July 2, Proms in the Park on Sunday, July 3 and four Sunday concerts at Bents Park in July (10, 17, 24, 31).

There will also be Craft Markets at Harton Quays Park on the first Sunday of the month from June to September, Kids Fun Fest children entertainment on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from August 2 to 25 and brass band performances on Sunday afternoons throughout June, July and August.

Coun Kerr added: “The South Tyneside Festival has been a highlight in the region’s calendar for nearly 30 years and we are very proud to be able to offer such a wide range of family friendly entertainment for both residents and visitors.”

Further details about South Tyneside Festival events, activities and entertainment will be announced in due course.