WATCH: Mollie King’s sultry new video for debut solo single Back To You

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She’s made more headlines recently for her killer style and her dalliances with supermodel David Gandy, but Mollie King today dropped her debut solo single – and it’s pretty hot.

Back To You premiered on YouTube today after the singer teased fans earlier in the week that she was about to release solo music. She tweeted: “Coming Friday…#BackToYou” with a short clip of the video.

As ex-girl banders go, it is a pretty good first attempt. It has elements of early noughties dance a la Angel City, her soft Kylie-esque vocals over a synthy tune that wouldn’t sound out of place as a Girls Aloud, or indeed Saturdays, B-side. However, it runs the risk of not being particularly memorable; in a year that has been dominated by surprisingly cool pop tracks from the likes of Justin Bieber, DNCE and Jess Glynne, is it good enough to top the charts? Time will tell. The video is certainly smooth. Little black dress? Check! Sexy co-star? Check! Flash motor? Check! Yep – she’s got all bases covered. Gandy is a lucky fella (for many reasons).

Mollie is the second Saturday to go for solo success – lead singer Vanessa White released a single, Relationship Goals, back in 2015 but has struggled to make a dent in the charts.

Here’s hoping Mollie fares a bit better because she’s always been our favourite!

Watch the video below:

Back To You is available to stream and download now

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NOW PLAYING: Tinashe – Superlove

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Last year she released one of the hottest R&B records of the year in the form of All Hands On Deck and it limped to #156 in the UK charts. On the contrary, All My Friends, by male DJ duo Snakehips made it to #5 the same year and featured Tinashe’s vocals. It’s now a year later (and four years since she released her first material) and Tinashe still hasn’t made it on her own. What gives?

Hoping to change that is the latest track from the Kentucky-born diva, Superlove. Produced by Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, who between them are responsible for mega-hits by Beyonce, Rihanna and Britney to name but a few, Superlove is the epitome of summer jam. Coming off like a younger, poppier cousin of a Nicki Minaj song, it’s 80s and 90s vibes are like sonic sunshine.

Tinashe has described the song as a “celebration of happiness. More specifically, it celebrates the kind of happiness that is so immense and infectious, that you can’t help but to rejoice in it. I hope to eulogize this wonderful energy and make people feel good, love harder, and dance together.” Amen to that!

The song comes complete with beach video, with the singer and her pals recreating Baywatch and saving a drowning fella, all whilst twerking up a storm. The choreography is FIRE. Taking us back to a classic age in R&B and hip hop when divas like Aaliyah, Brandy and TLC, and in more recent times Ciara, came armed with full-on, all-out routines, Tinashe shows she not only has a killer voice but the moves to back it up. The choreography is slick and sexy has elements of all those flawless ladies that came before her.

2016 – hopefully remembered as the year Tinashe took the throne. Watch out, RiRi.

Superlove is available to download on iTunes now

Watch the video for Superlove below:

Photo: Sarah McColgan

90s dance act Whigfield and TV singing stars to perform at Cumbria Pride

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A host of Eurovision and TV singing stars will take the stage at this year’s Cumbria Pride.

90s Eurodance act Whigfield, who had a massive hit with Saturday Night, will top the bill on a day where LGBTQ people and their straight allies are encouraged to come out and celebrate in Carlisle city centre. Nicki French, who represented the UK at Eurovison in 2000 with camp classic Don’t Play That Song Again, is also on the bill. They are joined by Britain’s Got Talent stars Danny Beard and Matthew Pagan, The Voice alumni Jolan, Jordan Gray and Amrick Channa, amongst others.

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Whigfield, aka Sannie Carlson

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Nicki French

The event, which takes place on Saturday September 17, will also host guest speakers, including, legendary human rights activist Peter Tatchell, Labour MP Stephen Twigg and representatives from EuroPride, the Terrence Higgins Trust and Stonewall.

There will also be food and drink vendors, market stalls and an official after-party at Havana nightclub.

Cumbria Pride is a free event and takes place from 12.00 until 18.30pm.

Watch the teaser video below:

For more information on Cumbria Pride visit their Facebook or Twitter

Sarah Harding and Andy Moss to lead Ghost the musical into Sunderland

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It’s been a movie, took the West End by storm and was Tony-nominated on Broadway. Now, the story of Ghost is flying into the North East.

The musical comes to the city’s Empire theatre next month starring Sarah Harding and Andy Moss in the lead roles of Molly and Sam. The Girls Aloud singer and Hollyoaks heartthrob will lead the new reimagined production produced by Bill Kenwright.

The show, with a book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, is based on the 1990 Academy Award-winning film, which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, who bagged a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance. The film was the highest-grossing film released that year.

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Andy Moss will star as Sam in the show

Walking back to their apartment late one night a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone, in despair and utterly lost. But with the help of a phony storefront psychic, Sam, trapped between this world and the next, tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger.

Harding, who had a short stint earlier this year in Coronation Street and is making her theatre debut, said she was “absolutely thrilled” about her role in the show. “The film is one of my all-time favourites, so to get the opportunity to play Molly in Bill Kenwright’s new production is a huge honour and I can’t wait to get started.”

She will be looking to emulate the success of her fellow Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh, who has made a name for herself in West End shows like Shrek, Elf and Sweet Charity.

The show will begin its tour in Wimbledon before travelling to Bristol, Birmingham and then Sunderland, before continuing throughout the country.

Ghost will be at the Sunderland Empire from September 26 – October 1. For tickets call the box office on 0844 871 3022 or visit the ATG website here

Watch Sarah Harding talking about the show below:

Photos: PA and Lime Pictures

Video: ITV

What’s on?: Five things for you to do in the North East this weekend

Bring It On: The MusicalWhen? Sat Aug 12 – Sun 14 Where? Customs House, South Shields

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Based on the hit film, the Tony Award-nominated Bring It On: The Musical is a high-flying thrill ride where the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading meets the fierce rivalries of high school politics and romance. The production features bright young talent from the Customs House summer school.

Tickets available from £7 by calling 0191 454 1234 or online here

NE1 Restaurant WeekWhen? Fri Aug 12 – Sun 14 Where? All over Newcastle

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A whole host of restaurants have been taking part in NE1’s annual culinary celebration. Evoke, Broad Chare, Cabana (read our review here) and As You Like It are among 90 eateries offering fantastic offers on food and drink.

Click here for more information on Restaurant Week

Summer Design Exhibition in association with Northumbria University When? Sat Aug 13 Where? Sage Gateshead

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Fresh from shows in London and New York, the regions best emerging designers showcase their work throughout the summer in our stunning building. Come and see the next generation of design talent.

Free event

The Ken Dodd Happiness ShowWhen? Sat Aug 13 – Sun Aug 14 Where? Whitley Bay Playhouse

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Legendary comic and British icon Ken Dodd brings his famous Happiness Show to the region for two shows this weekend. You’ll be ‘absolutely discumknockerated’ (that’s Knotty Ash for ‘over the moon’) by a truly tattifelarius (fun-filled) evening of laughter and songs.

Tickets available from £20 by calling 0844 248 1588 or by clicking here 

Henri Matisse: The Last Works – When? Fri Aug 11 – Sun Sep 11 Where? Ustinov College, Durham University

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Ustinov College and The Global Citizenship Programme are hosting an exhibition of lithograph prints by Henri Matisse from the 1958 publication of Verve magazine. A renowned painter, in 1953 Henri Matisse (1869-1954) began working with the printer Fernand Mourlot and the art publisher Tériade on a special edition of Verve to reproduce 40 of the artists infamous cut-outs as lithograph prints. The series became known as Verve: Dernières Oeuvres de Matisse 1950-54 (The Last Works of Matisse).

This is a free event. For more information call 0191 3345470 or click here

REVIEW: Brazilian food at Cabana goes for Gold – but lands a Bronze

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The world has gone Brazil-mad. And with all of our eyes firmly fixated upon Rio and the 2016 Olympics, I decided to join in. No. I haven’t started diving off terrifyingly high boards like our Tom Daley, nor have I gone into the garage and dusted off my old chopper (steady) for a race along the riverside. I decided to take part in the South American fiesta the best way I know – eating.

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Cabana, one of the newest restaurants in Newcastle, opened in the spring of this year near the city’s Gate complex. It is situated in the old Co-Op building and, along with Caribbean neighbour Turtle Bay, is part of a host of exciting worldly restaurants aiming to please.

David Ponte, who is the co-owner of the eatery along with Jamie Barber, was raised in Rio and has previously likened the city’s Christ the Redeemer statue to our very own Angel of the North.

An interesting comparison, for sure! Ponte’s passion for Brazilian food shines through in impressive surroundings and on a menu that, honestly, looked good enough to eat. And I was thanking Christ (the Redeemer) I got to.

Along with a group of friends, one who recently having had a baby was ready for a great time, tasty food and even better cocktails, I decided on Cabana as a good choice for NE1’s Restaurant Week, which runs until this Sunday August 14, and every year takes the region by storm with its great offers on food and drink. Cabana in particular is offering three courses for £15.

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The spicy chicken wings came marinated in a delicious and fiery Malagueta sauce, and were served up in a bucket. Succulently cooked and with just the right amount of spice for someone who sometimes gets the sweats from a medium Nandos. But chain food this is not – the wings, along with the cheesy baked dough balls with garlic butter had us all wanting more.

Unfortunately, that’s where things took a bit of a nosedive. With the majority of us plumping for the Picanha burger with chimichurri sauce, beans and fries, we were collectively let down by the main, the burger itself dry and non-descript. However, one of us did go for the spicy Malagueta chicken skewer, which impressed.

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Dessert was toffee frozen yoghurt with peanut brittle, which I have to say, was a delight. The chocolate cake got thumbs down from some of the diners but I thought, especially being flourless, it was a fine attempt.

Although the food didn’t set my taste buds alight, Cabana is definitely a place to return for drinks. Opting, of course, for the native favourite, Caiparinha, as well as Carlos The Godfather, a sugary, gin-based drink, the place felt less like Newgate Street and more (and more and more…cocktails were 2-4-1) like the Copacabana. Let’s just say by the time we left, there were A LOT of showgirls names Lola. They also do a beautiful Malbec, for the red wine lovers.

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Unlike the athletes currently taking Rio by storm, this place is not exceptional. It isn’t bad, though – it just has a lot of great competition. If I was scoring, Cabana would on the podium, clutching bronze.