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Dave Stewart Announces Birthday Fire Station Gig

27 July, 2022

Dave Stewart


MUSICAL icon and home-town hero Dave Stewart is to perform a one-off, exclusive night of music and stories at Sunderland's newest cultural venue - on his 70th birthday.

One of the most accomplished and respected figures in global music, Dave's career as a singer songwriter, producer and musician has spanned 40 years and he has sold more than 100 million albums. This unique evening of music and chat, entitled Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: My Life in Music will be at The Fire Station, Sunderland, on Friday, September 9 (7.30pm).

The celebratory event will be an evening of storytelling and music, never before seen imagery from his own archive, and will feature special guests. Sunderland-born Dave will talk about his career, including before his time with Annie Lennox, and post Eurythmics. He'll also discuss his major influences and talk about his collaborations with a range of superstar artists including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Katy Perry and Joss Stone.

Speaking about the event, Dave said: "I thought it was fitting to have this evening in Sunderland on my 70th birthday as Dylan said I'm 'Bringing it all Back Home.'

"The Fire Station is a perfect venue for the intimate storytelling and music I want to share. I looked around the venue when I was up in Sunderland this May and was very impressed with the whole set up.

"I've lived such an adventurous life and have often filmed or photographed what was happening around me, I also have a massive archive of very special recordings and will share some of these on the night, as well as performing some of my well-known songs with some friends.

"I see it as a story of survival in a cut-throat business as well as a celebration of music and the love of songwriting and how it all began in my hometown of Sunderland."

Tamsin Austin, Venue Director at The Fire Station, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be hosting this special event with such a legendary artist. Dave is a global superstar who has never forgotten his roots - as his support for local artists including producing The Lake Poets first album (Marty Longstaff) and recently signing Faye Fantarrow to produce her new album shows.

"We're especially honoured that he will be playing our venue on his 70th birthday. It will be a special night featuring one of the biggest and most important names in music over the last four decades. Tickets will be flying out, so our advice is to book early," she added.

Dave chose his home city to launch his critically-acclaimed latest album, Ebony McQueen in May. The autobiographical triple album was inspired by memories of growing up in Sunderland and was launched in High Street West venue Pop Recs. A film and musical of the same title are in the pipeline - and will be made on Wearside.

Dave was raised in Barnes, attended Barnes Infants and Bede Grammar School, and he has always maintained strong links with his home city and often speaks of his fondness for Sunderland.

He achieved global success with Eurythmic's album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), with the pioneers of a unique blend of soul, electronic, pop and rock becoming arena and stadium headliners on nearly every continent. The duo went on to release a string of hits before they went their separate ways in 1990 - reuniting in 1999 to record their ninth album.

While working with many of the world's leading musicians and artists, Dave has garnered many prestigious awards including four Ivor Novello Awards, four Brit Awards and numerous UK Hall of Fame, Grammy awards and nominations. He's also been recognised for his work on films and musicals, including the score for Alfie, written with Mick Jagger, and Ghost with Glen Ballard.

It has been a particularly busy year for Dave - as well as the launch of his new album, last month (June) he and Annie Lennox were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. In November they and a handful of other music legends, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a huge televised event in New York.

And later this year, a new musical he has co-written with Joss Stone - The Time Traveller's Wife - will premiere.

Dave lives between homes in Nashville and the Caribbean, but makes regular trips to Sunderland. One of these trips, four months before the Covid pandemic struck, sparked memories that inspired Ebony McQueen.

"It stemmed from my last time in Sunderland, about four months before the pandemic, when I went to look at my old school.

"Ebony McQueen' is the name of a fictional voodoo blues queen, a living embodiment of the blues music that inspired my entire career. She is basically my entry point into music and the title track is the entry point to this story. Ultimately, it's a story about destiny," said Dave earlier this year.

The recently released album has received acclaim from far and wide including:

Classic Pop - "Stewart is not only having the time of his life on this fantastical reimagining of his youth but he's also a dab hand at implementing his key influences."

The Mail - "a master craftsman who combines decent melodies and heartfelt words... its idiosyncratic approach is a hallmark of one of pop's enduring mavericks.

The Sun  - "Ebony McQueen is a... riveting trawl through the styles - rock, pop, blues, classical, gospel - that have made Stewart the virtuoso musician he is."

For tickets, which are on sale from noon on Friday (July 22), go to www.thefirestation.org.uk

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