Sunderland band Frankie and the Heartstrings and performance poet Kate Fox are the latest two acts to confirm performances at The Journal Culture Awards next month.
They join the already-announced Kathryn Williams and The Lake Poets - both finalists in the Performing Artist of the Year category - on the bill for the ceremony, which will be rewarding and recognising the best of the region’s cultural activity in 2013.
Booked to take place in Hall One, Sage Gateshead on April 16, tickets have already been getting snapped up for the eighth annual event.
Speaking from the BBC6 Music Festival in Manchester yesterday - where the band have a stall - Frankie and the Heartstrings singer, Frankie Francis, said they were really pleased to be part of the evening’s entertainment.
“The offer to perform came at a nice time for us because we haven’t done a live show for about five months, which is a long time for us.” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for the band to step back into view. Plus, we’ve never played the Sage before, so it will be nice to tick that off the list.”
The band were told yesterday that they had also been shortlisted in two categories for their innovative and very popular Pop Recs Ltd project, which has seen them open a multi-functional record shop in their native Sunderland.
“Being nominated makes it all a bit more special for us,” said Frankie. “We’re very appreciative of how people are recognising what we’re trying to do so it’s great to be a real part of the occasion by playing.”
While Frankie and the Heartstrings will be playing tracks from their acclaimed back catalogue, Journal columnist Kate is going to be perform something which will be unique to the occasion, having been commissioned to write a poem which includes each and every one of the 39 finalists, listed below.
She said: “I love the challenge of getting all the Culture Award finalists into one poem. I’m quite used to strange poetic challenges - from writing a poem about the Great North Run while running it, to camping in a tent for five days to sum up the Glastonbury Festival and penning a Christmas poem about colostomies. Yes, really.
“This is an exciting chance to see lots of brilliant creative people gathered one room and one poem. The Culture Awards always remind me of how good it is to feel part of the amazingly fertile, but quite small and friendly world, that is the North East’s cultural landscape.
“If I can encapsulate that with some jaunty rhythms and the odd dodgy rhyme then I’m glad. Luckily people generally seem happy enough to be mentioned in a poem that they don’t get too annoyed that it’s not quite Wordsworth!”
Tickets for The Journal Culture Awards 2013 in Hall One, Sage Gateshead are £10 and are on sale from the box office on 0191 443 4661 or online at http://sagegateshead.com/event/journal-culture-awards