Rule one: Never upset Bingo fans.
A Tyneside social club has apologised after a secret Sam Fender gig meant that they were forced to cancel their weekly bingo night.
The ‘Hypersonic Missiles‘ singer played an intimate show at North Shields’ King Street Social Club on Friday evening – only hours after Fender learned that he’d secured his first ever number one album.
While the Spotify show delighted competition winners from Fender’s hometown, regulars at Friday night bingo weren’t so happy.
“It upset a few of the regulars,” club secretary Dave Farrell told Chronicle Live. “But from the point of view of the club, well, it was a no-brainer.”
Despite risking the wrath of Friday night regulars, Dave says that the show proved to be a financial masterstroke for the club too.
“We at least trebled our takings for a Friday night,” he explained. “The club was absolutely chok-a-bloc and we did at least £6,000 – which is pretty good considering our prices.”
However, it seems that the reaction was, on the whole, pretty positive.
“Once the news got out some of them were even asking me for tickets,” he added. “And I think a lot of them were quite proud seeing the club that busy.”
As for the show itself, Fender treated fans to hits from ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ before hosting an old-school raffle that raised over £2000 for CALM . Items up for grabs included a realistic ‘Newcastle Brown Ale bottle’ cake bearing Fender’s name, a plateful of kebabs, and a bunch of taxis home from the gig.
The tiny show is in huge contrast to Fender’s recently announced tour for 2020 – which will see him tackling arenas for the first time. As well as a massive homecoming at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena, he’ll tackle London’s cavernous Alexandra Palace.