South Tyneside Summer Festival: Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley and heaps of local talent

Thousands of music fans braved the rain today for the third instalment of this year's South Tyneside Summer Festival.

People flocked to Bents Park to see Spandau Ballet legend Tony Hadley, along with four wonderfully talented local acts.

Tony Hadley on stage in Bents Park.

Tony Hadley on stage in Bents Park.

Opening the gig was stunning 16-year-old Hope Swan, from South Shields, who sang a number of songs, including a beautiful rendition of Adele's When We Were Young.

Then followed sets from the lovely fellow Shields singers Lauren Amour, 19, 17-year-old and Steve Tennet. WW

Old favourites 4 Worried Men performed a number of songs, including The Stereophonics' Dakota, which lead singer Andy later reprised in a duet with Tony Hadley.

The headliner himself stole the show as about 12,000 people exposed themselves to the elements and stayed until the bitter end.

Tony Hadley speaking to the Echo backstage.

Tony Hadley speaking to the Echo backstage.

A smaller crowd than previous weeks, likely because of the inclement weather and the Sunderland airshow taking place up the road.

But the sun briefly did make an appearance, as Tony performed a number of covers, including Boys of Summer, along with a couple of songs from his new album, due out next year.

But it was classic Spandau songs, including Through the Barricades, True, and Gold, that sent the audience wild, along with Tony's friendly banter, which made the show really intimate.

The odd pair of knickers was thrown onto the stage and a member of the audience also passed a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels, so that he could have a little tipple.

Bents Park, South Shields.

Bents Park, South Shields.

Speaking to our reporter backstage, prior to the concert, Tony revealed 10 years had passed since his last visit to South Shields.

He said: "I remember being on the stage and it wasn't raining - unfortunately it's raining today - and to see the sea and everything, has a certain tranquillity."

When asked about his set list, he said: "I'm a great believer in giving people what they want - True, Gold, and Through the Barricades.

"And The Boys of Summer is such a cool song, and I'm throwing in some new songs as well, but Through the Barricades is one of my favourite songs.

4 Worried Men on stage in Bents Park.

4 Worried Men on stage in Bents Park.

"I just love performing, and, in between that, write songs and record for the new album."

The 2016 series of free concerts conclude next Sunday with headliners UB40, supported by Eve Simpson, Lily Brooke, and The Shakes.

Tony Hadley on stage in Bents Park.

Tony Hadley on stage in Bents Park.