The South Tyneside Festival is a series of concerts held every Sunday in July, at Bent’s Park, South Shields, in Northeast England. July 23 was a wet yet mild day, but the all-star lineup certainly kept the 12,000 strong audience going.
The festival was headlined by 2015 X Factor winner Louisa Johnson, but also featured Irish trio, Taken, as well as local talent such as Jamie Lee Harrison. The Britain’s Got Talent finalist won over the crowd with his huge voice, as he sang several songs including a stunning rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle On The Hill’ and an original song, ‘Where We Are’, which will be on his forthcoming album.
Matt Terry, who won X Factor last year, showed off his impressive vocal skills as he sang several songs from his time on X Factor, including Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ (complete with purple stage lighting), which he had performed on the show as a duet with mentor Nicole Scherzinger. Since leaving the programme, Matt has achieved a number 3 single with the Ed Sheeran penned, ‘When Christmas Comes Around’, and has recently collaborated with Enrique Iglesias and Sean Paul on ‘Subeme La Radio’ (Turn Up The Radio), which he performed at South Shields.
The stand out performance was definitely Jedward, who in their 30 minute set managed to sing 13 songs, taken from all three of their albums, as well as selections from their self-penned independent singles. Although not the official headline act, it was clear that the Dublin duo were the ones the vast majority had come to see, with Jedward fans flying in from as far afield as the USA, Finland, Sweden, and Germany – as well as Ireland and all over the UK.
Jedward, who are in the 9th year as professional performers, gave it their all, and had earlier teased in an interview about releasing 16 new songs this year, which had fans excited at the prospect of their long-awaited fourth album. Their most recent album, ‘Young Love’, was released in 2012.
The pair have since self-released nine tracks, three of which they performed on the day: ‘Good Vibes’, ‘The HOPE Song’, and ‘Ferocious’ – as well as their two Eurovision songs, ‘Lipstick’, and ‘Waterline’, and ‘Under Pressure/Ice Ice Baby’ (from 2010’s ‘Planet Jedward’), ‘Wow Oh Wow’, and ‘Get Up And Dance’ from their 2011 ‘Victory’ album, and ‘What’s Your Number?’, ‘Happens In The Dark’, ‘Can’t Forget You’ – all from their ‘Young Love’ album. As they started to leave the stage, the audience began chanting, “One more song! One more song!” and John and Edward returned, singing the huge dance number, ‘Luminous’, also from their ‘Young Love’ album.
The rain had held off while Jedward performed, but sadly came lashing down as the final two acts, 5 After Midnight, followed by Louisa Johnson, hit the stage.
All in all, it was a great concert, despite the weather doing its best to dampen everyone’s spirits. The final say must be given to John Grimes, who in speaking to The Shields Gazette, summed up the atmosphere of the entire event:
“We felt very uplifted being here, and the energy of the people brightened our day.
“The great thing was that everyone was there enjoying themselves with their family and friends, and that’s what it’s all about.”