Waiting For The Man

In March 2019 Teesside alt-folkers Nel Unlit played an intimate gig in Durham City, DownByTheRiver was in attendance and was somewhat taken by one of the band – an Irish singer/songwriter by the name of BENJAMIN AMOS. During a break in proceedings, a short conversation took place. ‘Would you be interested in playing a solo gig’ – ‘No, sorry I’m not playing live again anytime soon’ (or words to that effect). Fast forward to November 2021 and another short conversation takes place. ‘I’m ready to do that gig you mentioned.’ ‘OK, great; when?’ And so, here we are. Following up a well-received opening slot in December for Cattle & Cane at The Stockton Globe, Benjamin Amos headlines a hat-trick of North East DBTR promoted dates supported by some of the most interesting musicians the region has produced in recent times.

BENJAMIN AMOS is a singer/songwriter originally from the north coast of Northern Ireland. Ben had previously fronted the Northern Irish band Sullivan and Gold whose acclaimed 2013 album – For Foes was nominated for the Northern Irish Music Prize. On relocating to the northeast of England, Ben found his musical home on Teesside, at Middlesbrough’s Westgarth Social Club to be precise. Having joined forces with the Spooker Rekkids collective he became a member of Nel Unlit and went on to co-write and co-produce their debut album, Wake for the Dreaming which received airplay and praise from the likes of Tom Robinson. February 2021 will see Ben release Maelstrom, the first single from his forthcoming debut solo album Letters.

‘Wow! [Nel Unlit] Like swimming in chocolate. Music like you haven’t heard in the last 60 years. Just blooming wonderful.’ – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

‘Finding the words that express the insatiable joy of being alive is something which may baffle the best of us. Benjamin Amos’ new album, Letters, is due for release later this year and manages to articulate this experience in a beautiful bundle of soulful, heart-lifting tracks….the songwriter has been creating stunning, expressive music throughout the last decade; through intertwining his contemporary sound and Celtic roots, Amos has created a deeply authentic musical voice.’ – Narc Magazine

DRESSED LIKE WOLVES are Rick Dobbing and pals making honest, frantic and heartfelt music about the people and situations that surround them. DLW have been making music in attics and bedrooms since 2009, playing shows in barbershops, laundrettes vintage shops, tea rooms, replica ships and even some regular venues too. They’ve played with bands such as Wolf Alice, Trust Fund, Sam Fender, The Burning Hell, Darren Hayman and Withered Hand. The band had their song ‘Death of Girls’ used on advertisements for BBC Radio 4 as well as having songs played on Amazing Radio, BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1.

‘In the great tradition of great British eccentrics’ – Tom Robinson. BBC 6 Music

‘Bright Eyes with Balls.’ – Wolf Alice.

FAITHFUL JOHANNES makes spoken-word songs and the accompanying electronic music. He takes his ironing board to his gigs. It has been mistaken for a surfboard. He holds up large signs to help annotate his narratives or reinforce the choruses and gives out personalised notes to audience members. After a string of EPs and standalone singles, Johannes brought out the tragicomic story album, Ken & Jean in September 2021 on pink vinyl. It was described by NARC. Magazine as ‘a gem fit for any collection.’ FJ has received national airplay from Tom Robinson and Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music and regular support from BBC Introducing shows in the North East and Teesside.

‘The Alan Bennett of Hip Hop’- Future Sounds

‘He’s a great artist’ – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

‘Johannes displays a skill for some brilliant rhyming couplets and detailed lyrics which unfold into modern-day reflections of everyday feeling and society’ – Louder Than War

PHILIP JONATHAN is a multi-instrumentalist whose live performances are brought together through the sensitive use of a loop pedal. Classically trained in piano and violin, Philip’s songs are crafted from his reflections on the rawest moments of life. Phillip’s debut single ’Seafront’ was released in May 2021 and its follow-up ‘I Hope’ were reviewed positively by Obscure Sound, Ear to the Ground and NARC magazine. Both tracks featured on BBC Introducing North East and Indie Folk Central. Musically and lyrically there is something here for those fond of Nick Drake and Ben Howard.

‘An incredible feat of music production, Seafront will surprise you from start to finish. From Philip’s delicate, perfect falsetto and impeccable guitar fingerpicking to grand crescendos.’ NARC Magazine

‘There’s nothing I could say here to prepare you for the energy and power of the guitar solo….The juxtaposition is as satisfying as it is surprising. This is a gem.’ – Ear to the Ground

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