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Tanfield Railway welcomes star line-up of local music to Gateshead in May

The world’s oldest railway, near Sunniside, Gateshead is celebrating Museums at Night with an evening of music from the region

Indie rock band Cohesion
Indie rock band Cohesion

Tanfield Railway is to be transformed into a music venue with a difference to celebrate Museums at Night.

The world’s oldest railway, near Sunniside, Gateshead, which usually runs steam train rides over the three-mile line, will host Music at Marley Hill for the second year running.

This unique event will see four of the North East’s top music acts perform in the railway’s Marley Hill Carriage Shed on Saturday, May 16.

Taking on a Wearside theme, the line-up comprises the hugely popular The Lake Poets, Lilliput, Cohesion and YUMA – a quartet that is exciting music lovers far and wide.

The event coincides with the nationwide Museums at Night celebrations which aims to attract visitors to museums, galleries and heritage sites by throwing their doors open after hours and putting on special evening events.

Tanfield Railway commercial director David Watchman said: “We are over the moon to welcome some of the finest North East music acts to our Music at Marley Hill event.

The Lake Poets
The Lake Poets

“We couldn’t quite believe it when we received confirmation back from the likes of The Lake Poets (aka Martin Longstaff) who has recently been touring America, and Lilliput, who have been wowing sell-out audiences around the country.

“Being part of the UK-wide Museums at Night festival has allowed us to put on a spectacle with a difference for one night only. We are renowned for running steam trains for families throughout the year, so something like this is a really nice change and one we hope will be well received by our visitors.”

After graduating from University, Martin Longstaff, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Sunderland, channelled all his energy into writing the most quietly devastating songs he could in an effort to deal with the complexities of adulthood, life, death and relationships.

Sunderland band Lilliput. L-R Joshua Hawick, Jonathan Hibbert, Jordan Miller, Joe Collins, Dan Waterston, and James Gilling
Sunderland band Lilliput. L-R Joshua Hawick, Jonathan Hibbert, Jordan Miller, Joe Collins, Dan Waterston, and James Gilling

Sunderland band Lilliput return after impressing at the last year’s Music at Marley Hill. The five-piece are dedicated to crafting thoughtful alternative folk music featuring delicate finger-picked guitars, pristine, soaring harmonies and rousing percussion.

Frontman Joe Collins says: “Tanfield Railway is an incredible and unique setting for a gig. The old engine sheds and trains bring the past back to life. For a band like us, it’s always nice to be asked to play such a special event – there’s not many people can say they’ve played at the world’s oldest railway.”

Joining them on stage will be five-piece indie rock band Cohesion, who thrive on converting ideas into anthemic songs and are currently working on new material.

Frontman Matthew Watchman said: “Music at Marley Hill is one of those stand-out shows, one of a kind. The location is so unique. It’s like stepping back in time. Gigs like this also allow us to show a different side to the band and our sound, stripping it back and performing our set acoustically. It’s also great to play alongside top North East talent.”

Completing the line-up is YUMA, a female-fronted blues/folk duo from the North East.

You can buy tickets (£7.50 each) at Holmeside Coffee in Sunderland or at www.tanfield-railway.co.uk/music.php . Doors open at 6.30pm.


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