Derelict Durham shop becomes gig venue

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A FORMER derelict building in the heart of Durham City will be used to host a series of intimate gigs.

Empty Shop HQ, off Framwellgate Bridge, will host sets from North East bands Bridie Jackson & the Arbour, ONSIND and Richard Dawson.

Richard will kick off the series, organised by promoters Seagull & Circle, tonight.

Carlo Viglianisi from Seagull & Circle said: “This is about great music – not mainstream, but genuine passion and talent.

“It’s a series for people who really appreciate the craft of music and want to discover some of the bigger bands that don’t get to play Durham enough.”

The gig series aims to further develop Durham as a place to see live music and move away from big-venue experiences.

Carlo added: “We want people to know that they don’t need to travel to other cities to see really good music, and that smaller, intimate sets can blow the socks off impersonal arenas and big-venue gigs.”

Seagull & Circle have booked local acts to launch the series, but are planning on bringing a string of national and international acts to the area.

Carlo said: “It was important to us to start with homegrown talent, and really showcase what the North East has to a Durham audience. From that point, we’ll cast our net further and bring amazing acts from all over as well as homegrown talent.”

Unused for around a decade, the Empty Shop HQ building is now a studio space, exhibition space, a usable workspace and a fully licensed bar and venue.

l Tickets for the gigs can be bought from www.emptyshop.org or wegottickets.com/emptyshop.