NORTH-East music legend Sting will give special concerts next year at one of the region’s leading venues.
The Wallsend-born musician will perform at the Sage Gateshead on April 24 and 26 and proceeds from the shows will go to its tenth birthday appeal.
The concerts will be the only ones of their kind in the UK. At the Sage Gateshead he will perform songs from The Last Ship, the name of his new album and musical.
Sting, real name Gordon Sumner, said: "The Last Ship is a musical allegory set in Wallsend, the town where I was born and raised.
“The demise of industry - not only in shipyards like Tyneside and Gdansk (in Poland) , but also great manufacturing centres like Detroit - has been well documented and the effect of that demise on the identity and future of local communities particularly resonates with me.
“I’m very much looking forward to bringing these songs and stories home.”
He added: “The North-East has a great creative atmosphere and legacy. The Sage sits proudly at its cultural heart and I’m always happy to support it.”
Sting will be joined onstage by well-know North-East traditional musicians including Kathryn Tickell.
The shows are being supported by the Port of Tyne, Shepherd Offshore and the cruise line Cunard, many of whose ships were built at the Swan Hunter yard in Wallsend.
Anthony Sargent, the Sage Gateshead’s general director, said: “We’re honoured that Sting has chosen to bring The Last Ship to Sage Gateshead.
“His support for our tenth birthday appeal means that our work across the region, helping enrich so many lives through our musical education programmes, can continue.
“For the past ten years, these programmes have benefitted everyone from marginalised, struggling young people through to people at the end of their lives.
“The generosity of Sting, and our other kind supporters, will help even more people as Sage Gateshead enters its second decade.”
Tickets go on general sale from Monday (September 1) at www.sagegateshead.com or 0191 4434661.
They cost £49.50, £75 and £85 and there are special VIP packages. Both shows will start at 8pm.
A limited number of free seats will be distributed before each performance via a lottery. Entries will be taken between 5.30pm and 6pm. Entrants must be present to win.