‘DownByTheRiver is one of those…forward-thinking promoters’ – NARC. magazine

‘A special place far away from the outside world….we left with a warm fuzzy feeling’ – The Crack

‘I can’t thank you enough for organising and managing it so amazingly well. It was a brilliant evening. I enjoyed every minute….I fear that everything else might now be a disappointment!’ – George Monbiot

Primarily, DBTR promotes live music events in Durham City at Claypath Delicatessen but on occasions, we work with venues on Tyneside and on Teesside. Events organised by DBTR are not-for-profit and all ticket and door sales are paid directly to the musicians, minus any venue hire costs. We look on our events as a collaboration between DBTR, venue, musicians and audience.

DBTR was born in London in 1996. In partnership with an amazing musician from New Mexico called Chris Chavez I ran a label called ZAMBRA. High points of the London experience were releasing Chris Chavez’ debut album ‘Skinwalkers Dance’ to critical acclaim and on the back of that hosting subsequent sold-out shows: there were live BBC Radio sessions with Johnnie Walker and Bob Harris, a VH1/MTV set and a west coast US/Canadian tour on which Chris opened for Bat For Lashes. Low point was when Jools Hooland’s people came out to a gig and nothing came of it. Chris continues to make music and teaches yoga worldwide.

How does DBTR go about booking musicians?

It started as a DIY thing and will continue that way. I love music but dislike the business of music, my preference is to deal directly with independent musicians and to work with ethical venue owners. I’m never keen on engaging with middle-men.

I go out to loads of live music events and I’m always on the lookout. I read the local and national music press, listen to BBC6 Music (a lot) and do research online. I get a lot of submissions, which I always listen to. However, it has to be something I’m into and a lot of care goes into my programming. I think the DBTR audience appreciates that, and they know pretty much that I try and promote good quality music even if some of the musicians I book are relatively unknown. I’m quite eclectic in my taste, so there is no hard and fast rule. Over the last few years, I’ve featured everything from gipsy-jazz to cutting-edge electronica to blues, folk and Americana.