We took a look in the Fender Unplugged collaboration between Greggs and Sam Fender and found a Geordie’s dream

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Sausage rolls, Brown Ale and live music – what more could you want?

The change of signage on Greggs’ Grainger Street branch came first, then an announcement – the iconic North East bakery would be collaborating with Sam Fender as part of the North Shields local’s two day stint at St James Park where he would be playing two sold out shows at the home of Newcastle United.

Desperate to see what would come from a get together between two of the biggest names from the region at the moment, we went to take a look at the ‘dive bar’ setup which was put together as part of the huge weekend of live music in Newcastle.

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The experience needs to be booked in advance and is based at Greggs’ Grainger Street store. The site is split in two with the regular store still open, although the steated area has been curtained off to allow for the pop up.

Inside the Sam Fender and Greggs collaboration 'Greggs Unplugged.'Inside the Sam Fender and Greggs collaboration 'Greggs Unplugged.'
Inside the Sam Fender and Greggs collaboration 'Greggs Unplugged.'

The space is decorated to be a traditional dive bar, much like the establishments around where Fender’s hero Bruce Springsteen grew up.

The New Jersey native’s face and voice are prominent with Born to Run one of the tracks playing around the site while posters of ‘The Boss’ and other influences for Fender take space across the walls, breaking up the wall of Newcastle United shirts, scarves and flags. A half eaten sausage roll from Fender himself also took pride of place against one wall.

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Live music is the main entertainment for the session with a local artist, hand picked by Sam Fender, playing a set in each session with the fantastic Cortney Dixon providing the music for the final session of Friday, June 9. The set came to an end with a brilliant rendition of Fender’s ‘Will We Talk’.

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The 'Fender Unplugged' collaboration event between Sam Fender and Greggs.The 'Fender Unplugged' collaboration event between Sam Fender and Greggs.
The 'Fender Unplugged' collaboration event between Sam Fender and Greggs.

The full set of artists involved come from hip-hop artist Kay Greyson, lo-fi punk-pop artist Bugman, four-piece band The Peevie Wonders Newcastle's DIY music star Chintzy Stetson as well as Cortney Dixon.

For a night in Greggs there was surely only one way to avoid hunger, and the team at the site had a select menu for those in attendance with Strongbow and, another icon of the region, Newcastle Brown Ale on offer, tying together a fantastic way to build up to Fender’s huge city centre shows.