As well as playing host to some of music’s hottest acts, Split Festival prides itself on creating a platform for local, exciting talent and there’s no better example of that than the wonderful The Lake Poets. Consisting, for the most part, of one man from Sunderland called Martin Longstaff, The Lake Poets take their (his) name from a a group of English poets who all lived in the Lake District of England at the turn of the nineteenth century. A name which becomes entirely appropriate after hearing his beautiful melodies, deeply ingrained with vibrant imagery, tales of storm weathered coastal cities and soulful Northern grit.
Having only began performing for audiences on April 2010, Martin has quickly established himself as one of the region’s brightest young songwriters and has already shared stages with some of the most revered names in alternative folk and indie music including Willy Mason, Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, Ben Howard, Withered Hand, Hyde & Beast, Cattle & Cane and The Futureheads.
Since he packed out the Split Festival Fringe Tent in 2011, to rapturous applause from a legion of fans, mind, Martin has signed a single deal with Tiny Lights Records, released his debut single, City by the Sea and had the launch show for that single held at The Sage Gateshead. A show which he sold out in, quite incredibly, three months in advance.
Weaving some fascinating story telling into beautiful melodies and sporadic harmonica like some sort of Mackem Springsteen, his live shows are truly special events, often accompanied by only a delicately finger-picked guitar and his other-worldly vocal, The Lake Poets could melt even the iciest of hearts with his poignant odes including ‘Windowsill’ and ‘Bluebell’. Also listen out for the sweet Windowsill, set closer Shipbuilding and the poignant North View. His music has the rare quality of being able to evoke feelings of euphoria and melancholy all at once. Be sure you catch him while you can at Split Festival this year.