South Tyneside’s music stars came out to shine in a concert extravaganza.
Almost 19,000 people turned up at Bents Park, in South Shields, today to see the town’s X Factor winner Joe McElderry, East Boldon X Factor finalist Lola Saunders and Britain’s Got Talent champs Collabro – including Washington’s Jamie Lambert – put on an unforgettable show for the South Tyneside Festival.
The star-studded line-up was completed by 16-year-old Eve Simpson, from South Shields, the Gazette’s Young Performer of the Year.
Headliner Joe, who has performed at the park twice before, treated the crowd to a mixture of album tracks like Wide Awake, Nessun Dorma and Ambitions as well as covers including Somebody To Love and Uptown Funk.
Before taking to the stage, he said: “I’m really nervous today for some reason, which is not like me because normally when I come home I’m fine, but it’s so nice.
“It’s where I grew up, it’s where I started and I’ve sat in this park for years and years and said I’d love to do that so when you come back after doing so much stuff around the country, it’s just so nice to come back and have fun.”
It’s where I grew up, it’s where I started and I’ve sat in this park for years and years and said I’d love to do that so when you come back after doing so much stuff around the country, it’s just so nice to come back and have fun.Joe McElderry
Collabro performed tracks from both their hit albums, including Circle Of Life, Come What May, A Thousand Years and Stars.
Before their time on stage, Jamie said: “It’s so nice to be here today. I used to do pretty much all my singing in South Shields so it’s nice to have all the boys here, and this is the first time we’ve all performed in South Shields so it’s pretty cool and the crowd is going to be amazing.”
Lola did a selection of tracks from her time on the X Factor, including All Of Me, Imagine and Natural Woman.
Before taking to the stage, she said: “I feel physically sick but I’m excited at the same time and once I get through my first song it should just happen.
“I love that I’m sharing the stage with Joe and Collabro. Everyone is really relaxed and really friendly and a big credit to this area so I feel really lucky to be able to share the stage with them.”