Aug 15 2012

Live Review: Unplugged, Establishment Sunderland

Live Review: Unplugged @ Establishment, Sunderland

Thursday 10th August 2012


I am a massive fan of live music, having ran a few musical festivals myself, so when I heard that Establishment in Sunderland have a new unplugged night for buskers I was keen to see what was on offer!

The Venue

Firstly lets start with the venue, Establishment was once called Baroque, back in the day when I was a student and loved their cooked full breakfasts (great hang-ova cure). The character of the bar is as great as it was back then. The bar itself still remains to me as one of the best Sunderland has to offer! New additions to the venue are a pool table hidden away on the top floor and an outside terrace.

Uplugged, what’s it about?

The Unplugged night is run by local musician Martin Marriott, 28, Hetton-le-hole, the singer and a guitar player in band ‘The Limit’, drummer in ‘The Undecided’, and is also in a few acoustic duo’s (Bella Vida and Halfway to Paradise).

Martin said “I’ve been running Buskers Nights in the area for the past 10 years. I host establishment on Thursdays (been running 5 weeks) and Popolos in Durham on Mondays (just started)…the Unplugged night is getting better every week!”

“I’m hoping the buskers Night in establishment will give the local buskers a chance to come together and share their music. It gives people the opportunity to play their own material and meet like-minded musicians. I like the way the night is evolving as well, rather than separate buskers coming in and doing their stuff, people are getting up and jamming together.”

Buskers put their names down and are given a 20-30 minute slot depending on how busy the night, and they also get a FREE drink, bargain!

The buskers

The night kicked off with Martin singing and playing acoustic to a few faves including The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Dead or Alive. Then the first artist of night.

Corine Andrews, 17, ashbrooke, took the spot light. Corine covered a few artists including Ellie Goulding and Florence, as well as a few alternatives. Her voice speaks for itself, strong, crisp and calm. Corine is studying music at Shiney Row College and when chatting her enthusiasm for her music shines though.

She said “I used to sing in a choir when I was little and started busking about one and a half years ago… I’ve played at the white room and other venues, but my biggest gig was at split festival”.


Jason Carr, 35, houghton-lee-spring, reminded me of a young bon jovi and sang his way through some great songs all written by himself, and it wasn’t just his voice that stood out, his guitar playing was brilliant! Jason, a postman in his day job, said  “I used to be the singer in Clysis (Rock/punk band) for 5 years…I enjoy writing and playing my own music now…I am influenced by all types of music”

Alex Thompson, 20, houghton-lee-spring, sang a range of girl power tunes (Pink, Alanis, Tracy Chapman) accompanied by Martin on the guitar. Alex, who is a student at Sunderland University in travel and tourism said “I’ve been every week – it’s a fantastic night!…I come from a musical background from my Dad…love to write my own songs, but they are very private to me”


Chris Wallace, 26, houghton-lee-spring, has a great folk/old rock and roll style. He sang and played songs from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and The Beatles. It was his first time at the event. Chris said “it’s been a good night…i have just started to write my own songs…I also play lead guitar in a band called ‘The Limit’ with Martin, who are a lot more rock”

Chris Binding, 22, barnes, played a very interesting set using his loop pedal, definitely a male version of KT Tunstall in the making, covering Sting, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and more. He is a literature graduate from Newcastle University and is looking to follow this up with a Masters in Film. Chris said “I was in a band but now I do my solo stuff and I’m now in another band called Rubric (blues/generic).

Martin, the event organizer, said of the buskers, “Last week we had a great mix of players in, Corrine Andrews does a great set, great vocal and a nice touch on the guitar. Chris Binding, great player and great vocal. Has started bringing his loop pedal along and blowing people’s minds. He was joined later on stage by the rapper B Type (who usually raps along to his own home-made tracks) for acoustic renditions of his set.”

The Manager Sophie and the staff are friendly and I really enjoyed the night! I will back for more!

They also have some great drink offers with most bottles 2 for £5, and spirits (inc mixer) double = £2.50, treble = £3

Unplugged Information

  • Every Thursday  from 8pm!
  • Buskers put their names down and are given a 20-30 minute slot and get a FREE drink!

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Establishment, 4 Low Row, SR1 3PY, Sunderland




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