AS P.P. Arnold's eagerly-anticipated North East live show fast approaches, the UK's “first lady of soul” and her chief collaborator Steve Cradock say there is no better place to kick-start their expected sell-out nationwide tour than on Teesside.

Taking place at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Wednesday, October 2, featuring Steve Cradock, PP Arnold – the soul darling of the swinging 60s and firm favourite of The Rolling Stones – will be performing a night of gospel, jazz and soul classics as well as material from her recently released and critically acclaimed new album – The New Adventures of P.P. Arnold featuring Cradock and “The Modfather” himself, Paul Weller.

Speaking ahead of her forthcoming tour opener on Teesside, the lady and the voice behind classics such as 'The First Cut is the Deepest' and 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow', said: “I've been touring the UK since 1966 and have performed in the North East many times. My memories are of very enthusiastic audiences who love Soul music, so I'm thrilled to be coming to Teesside again.

“The Middlesbrough crowds are very passionate and they're warmth has been a major source of inspiration over the years. As well as playing Middlesbrough, I've performed in Redcar and Stockton in the past. This is my first album of new material in over 50 years so of course, I'm excited, wouldn't you be?”

“You can expect a show that will combine the best of my classic material and a lot of the new material from my new album I'm thrilled that Steve Cradock is musical directing and leading the band as he produced the album and I know that musically it's going to sound great live.”

'The New Adventures Of P.P. Arnold’ was recorded and produced by life-long P.P. enthusiast, Ocean Colour Scene star and Paul Weller band guitarist Steve Cradock at his Kundalini Studio in Devon.

He adds: “I first met the great lady of soul at a show in a theatre in Birmingham in 1994. I just went as a fan with my record and a bunch of flowers, just to meet her. I met her again when she was asked to be on a Paul Weller session. She remembered me!

“And then she stayed in my house in Birmingham for a while in 1996. I had some old reel-to-reel recording equipment there and pianos, so we just spent our evenings off recording demos together for a record.

“Shoot forward 20 years, my wife Sally and I had just moved to a new house so I was sorting through my stuff and setting up my studio again and I found all the tapes we made, and from there I've had the pleasure of helping her put together this amazing new album.

“We’re both really proud of it and what I didn’t realise is that it’s 50 years since her first solo release.

“She’s a very spiritual lady. She looks after herself, she looks great she sings amazingly still. She’s so beautiful, when she sings it’s quite an incredible thing. I’ve been very fortunate to be there while we’re recording. For me as a fan, the whole process has been amazing. I can wait to kick-start this very special tour in Middlesbrough.”

Tickets for P.P. Arnold featuring Steve Cradock at Middlesbrough Town Hall's Crypt are on sale priced at £20, subject to the normal booking fees.